You Again

(2010)  1/2 Pg
105 min. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Director: Andy Fickman. Cast: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Victor Garber.

/content/films/3949/1.jpgWe all know someone with a knack for passive-aggressive self-aggrandizement, and the insecurity it breeds in everyone in its vicinity. The Disney comedy You Again makes a meal of this phenomenon, depicting the worst-case scenario of these types becoming, inescapably, family. Despite the recognition factor and a potentially fruitful premise, You Again turns out to be another inept misfire lazily tossed off as chum for the lowest common denominator. Those with cultivated taste (or even the most basic of aesthetic self-respect) need not apply.

Poor Kristin Bell (Veronica Mars) follows up the dismal When in Rome by taking on the role of Marni Olsen, a big-city girl heading home to the 'burbs for her brother's wedding. Marni has worked hard to banish her old life as a high-school loser and recreate herself as a successful, stylish career girl, but her past comes flooding back when she discovers, to her horror, that her brother (James Wolk) is marrying her high-school nemesis, Joanna (Odette Yustman). Marni's mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) counsels her daughter to take it all in stride, until Gail realizes that her own tormenter in high school is also converging on the wedding: Joanna's Aunt Mona (Sigourney Weaver). À la Meet the Parents, wacky mishaps ensue. You'd better believe they include catfights, public embarrassments, and assorted other "all's fair in love and war" behavior that will need to be corrected before the neatly happy ending.

It's a sad state of affairs when talents like Victor Garber (as Marni's dad) and Kristin Chenoweth (as a dance instructor)—not to mention Weaver and Curtis—are so damnably debilitated. In the hands of director Andy Fickman, You Again has no laughs to get in the way of the glossy cinematography, flashy dancing and tarted-up production design. Watching the film is like staring at whorehouse wallpaper: it's sort of interesting, but you have a strong feeling you might be wasting your time. Screenwriter Moe Jelline has only the vaguest sense of what she's trying to say, which seems to be that one must let go of the past to have a happy present. Fair enough, but her indecision about what sort of person Joanna is creates insurmountable problems for the actors, director and audience. Melline brands Joanna as a psycho bitch, who at one point confesses being “evil,” then later decides she's just misunderstood, at the script's convenience. If real life were like this movie, we'd all be sent to our padded rooms.

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Aspect ratios: 2.40:1

Number of discs: 2

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Street date: 2/8/2011

Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Disney delivers a bright and colorful hi-def transfer for You Again in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. Detail is solid solid, contrast and texture excellent, and the colors fairly leap off the screen. There's little going on in the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix to create an immersive soundfield, but dialogue is clear, at least.

Eleven "Deleted Scenes" (27:22, HD) come complete with introductions by director Andy Fickman.

"Following Fickman: On Set With the Director" (7:04, HD) observes the—let's call him "lively" director at work, and includes comments from Kristin Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Victor Garber, producer John J. Strauss, James Wolk, Sean Wing, Kristin Chenoweth, and Betty White.

"Ask the Cast" (1:22, HD) is a jokey promo with Bell, Curtis, Weaver, and White.

"Funny or Die" (3:03, HD) is a slightly funnier jokey promo with Bell, Fickman, Weaver, Yustman and White.

"Blooper Dance Party" (5:18, HD) blends flubbing and boogie-ing footage from the set.

The DVD disc includes the film and many of the same extras.

Review gear:
Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT30 55" Plasma 1080p 3D HDTV
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Denon AVR2112CI Integrated Network A/V Surround Receiver
Pioneer SP-BS41-LR Bookshelf Speaker (2)
Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker
Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer

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