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Screen » Film

The Shallow End: A talented cast slums through You Again

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This is one of those movies where you find yourself smiling and even laughing out loud a few times while it's running, but then it ends and you feel a little violated. It made me wonder if director Andy Fickman had actually ever met a real live woman before, or if he'd only read about them in Misogynist Weekly. Every woman in this movie is vindictive, petty, cruel and duplicitous. Every man in the film is simpleminded yet benevolent. And every audience member is punished during the seemingly endless 105-minute running time, except for the shrieking pack of high-school girls in the back of the theater. They loved every single word of You Again, causing me to fear for the future of this country. Again.

Marni (played by ray of sunshine Kristen Bell) had glasses, braces and acne in high school, so naturally, she was tortured by evil Joanna (played by Odette Yustman, who reminds me of Megan Fox, but with more range and less collagen). We jump to eight years later and Marni is flying to her brother's wedding and at the last minute she finds out that he's marrying Joanna, who is now the picture of kindness and compassion. When Joanna's aunt shows up for the wedding, we find out that she and Marni's mother have some pool shoving in their past. Jamie Lee Curtis (who looks eerily like John Malkovich in this) feverishly overacts as Marni's mother, Gail, while a pale and tired Sigourney Weaver plays Joanna's aunt Romona. Even national treasure Betty White (as self aware as Shatner by this point) has to struggle for laughs by the time she shows up.

As the two families try to make each other pay for sins of the past, we are left wondering why these four women don't just grab a coffee and hash it out instead of resorting to becoming shrill caricatures of human beings. The only reason I gave You Again two stars is because of the lovely performance of Kristen Bell who really deserves better than this ugly stereotype disguised as a romantic comedy. And you deserve better for your money and time. Watch Jerry Springer instead. It's free and there's chair throwing.

You Again
★★✩✩✩
Starring Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Betty White
Directed by Andy Fickman
Rated PG

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