What Doesn’t Kill You… Is Going To Marry Your Brother – You Again Movie Review

Oh, high school. (We hope you can hear the heavy, condescending sigh that was spoken with.)

It’s probably safe to say that pretty much everyone has at least one skeleton from somewhere among those awkward years of acne and insecurities stuck in their closet that comes back to haunt them when they least expect it. And although this may be spoken from a somewhat biased writer, it’s that universal theory that makes all these high school revenge movies relatable.

And that’s what You Again is, your run of the mill high school vengeance flick, where the tormented geek (in this case, Kristen Bell) squares off against her nemesis (Odette Yustman) when they are reunited after many years, drudging up the painful memories that suggest that no matter how much you grow up or how far away you move, high school is never quite over.

With a female power house cast including Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristin Chenoweth and Betty White, as well as delightful cameos laced throughout, You Again tries really hard to stray cautiously from the support of the predictable formula, but ends up staggering on her own two legs.

The chemistry between Bell and Yustman is strong; the heated rivalry between the two is believable, what with Bell having already mastered the art of ruthless vengeance during her outcast high school detective days on Veronica Mars.

Bell falls naturally into the role of clumsy and awkward Marni, complete with acne, braces and oversized glasses, while Yustman flawlessly shows the kind of confidence only a head cheerleader with a vicious mean streak can show, making you want to continuously punch her in the face.

Weaver and Lee-Curtis mirror a similar chemical divergence in their corresponding rivalries, however it seems as though they aren’t given much room to take their characters to their full potential.

The bit part of Marni’s younger brother Ben (Billy Unger) with his smart mouthed comments (including suggesting Weaver looks like a CGI character, a subtle nod to her character in Avatar), White’s stereotypical sassy grandmother role and Chenoweth’s over the top wedding planner round off the comedic character checklist.

There are laughs and several tongue-in-cheek references to pop culture fads, but things quickly turn serious and the movie does begin to get a little heavy as the rival characters reach their breaking point, a point that isn’t much of a shocker and has been done many times over.

While there is substance and a promising cast, You Again feels as though it’s missing something and ends up playing out exactly as you would expect it to. It is entertaining and it is funny (and Bell is as brilliant and adorable as always), but there are only so many times you can relive those glory days before you realize it’s time to let go of the past.

images from google images