Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Video review: "You Again"

I love the cast of "You Again." And I enjoyed the slapsticky humor, of which there is plenty. Pretty much everything else about this Disney comedy is take it or leave it, though.

Kristen Bell plays Marni, a high-school ugly duckling who got her swan on in her 20s. Now a successful public relations executive, Marni uses the story of her loser days to inspire eager young interns: 'Believe in yourself, face your problems, and you too can blah blah blah blah…'

Disaster strikes when Marni realizes the woman her big brother Will (James Wolk) is marrying is none other than Joanna (Odette Yustman), the girl who tormented her back at Ridgefield High. Joanna was captain of the cheerleading squad, and ruled the school with a bitchy fist.

These flashback scenes are a laugh riot, due in large part to the convincing physical transformation of button-cute Bell into a nerd with droopy bangs, a face full of brace, and skin erupting with a bounty of zits.

Joanna acts as if she doesn’t even remember Marni, and proceeds to subtly make her feel like dirt all over again. Marni, though, is determined to extract an apology for the many wrongs done her. If she doesn’t get it, she’s prepared to extract her revenge by sending the marriage down in flames.

This set-up would be sufficient for most comedies, but "You Again" doubles down by replicating the dilemma one generation upward. Turns out Marni’s mom Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis, in a hoot of a performance) had a very similar experience in her school days with Ramona (Sigourney Weaver), who is revealed as Joanna’s aunt.

No one is going to confuse “You Again” with great filmmaking. But if you can stand the slow stretches, you’ll find an agreeably entertaining family-friendly comedy with a little bit of bite.

Extras are good in both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo format, with deleted scenes, a spoof interview with the cast that turns into a catfight, photo stills and a featurette following director Andy Fickman around.

Movie: 2.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3 stars

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