Review- You Again

You Again is now available to stream on Netflix.

You Again is a film that ultimately sinks or swims on the strength of its actors’ performances and due to them it manages to stay afloat.

While the concept is not shockingly original what it did promise was the comedic possibilities of the mirrored stories of high school torment as experienced by both mother and daughter which are to be relived through coincidence brought to their attention by an upcoming family wedding. Where the film falls just a bit flat is that there could’ve been more balance between the disparate rivalries but ultimately it is overwhelmingly about younger set, which makes sense but there are a few issues there.

Now all that is not to say it isn’t funny. It does have its share of laughs. Certainly more than last weekend’s other offering, The Virginity Hit, it’s just matter of some squandered potential.

In terms of performances the four leading ladies certainly deserve their mention. Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver both play to their strengths from start to finish in roles seemingly tailor made for them. Curtis excels in her enthusiastic, slightly goofy and affable role and is a perfect foil to Weaver’s sophisticated, high society businesswoman who puts on airs. Their interaction is why you want more of them. Kristen Bell and Odette Yustman both do very well with their parts even if at the end the truthfulness and motivation of Yustman’s character is somewhat suspect.

The now seemingly standard Betty White appearance was as expected rather funny even with the gag at the end which was a bit much. However, the glue that holds the film together and in fact helps this film be more relatable to a male audience are Mark (Victor Garber) and Ben (Billy Unger). Not that I think that the label “chick flick” is completely apropos as these struggles in high school could just as easily be about men with some slight variations but the target is women. However, with Garber’s character, as Gail’s (Curtis’s) husband, who tries to but can’t quite grasp the situation and Ben, Gail’s son and Marni’s (Bell’s) younger brother, who lampoons the situation brilliantly stealing quite a few scenes along the way, it allows men to find characters with which the identify and ultimately it can bring a wider audience into the story as these characters get involved in the conflicts.

With a film of this type there is the almost mandatory scene where things all come tumbling down for the protagonist. However, I feel that the apparent defeat here is a bit undermined by the toast right before what Marni actually does orchestrate. Things play out such that she could’ve actually escaped with less of the blame and she came out looking better and less conniving than she would have and was intended. Had the start of the Third Act played out differently it might’ve had more impact.

You Again is a funny piece of escapist cinema that could’ve been a little bit more if only a few things had been different. Having said that there is still a good time to be had.