Snobbish critics and the tolerant movie audience has a special relationship that saves films from total disaster because either one can serve as spare lifesaver. Some films end up as Roger-Ebert-lifted-both-thumbs-I-am-still-hyperventilating-because-I-am-that-excellent of a film and some are look-at-the-lines-I-am-packing-more-people-than-stress-eaters-can-pack-carbs blockbuster hits. The rest are so terrible both critics and the public had a magicmal moment of total agreement. You Again belongs to the second group. A movie that had featherbrained mortals like us laughing and enlightened critics puking their brains out. Based on Rotten Tomatoes, top critics gave it a harsh 15% rating but site users rewarded this frenemies film with a respectable 58% score. I watched it last night after office hours. Did a little shopping and got a bit tired. Mindless popcorn flick is one of the best antidotes against stress. Not art films. Not documentaries. Popcorn movies of the mindless chick flick kind.
There is another reason I waited for this one – alien assassin Sigourney Weaver and scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Profound respect for these women. Imagine two genre icons in one feature. These fantabulous actresses have one thing and common, aside from still rockin’ bodies, and that is a wicked sense of humor. A trait not lost with the other icon in the movie, the unstoppable Betty White. So how does this Geek goddess Kristen Bell-headlined movie fare? It is bad. But the kind of bad that I will watch when I feel tired. The kind of bad that made me laugh. The kind of bad that had most members of Rotten Tomatoes giving it an approval.
Marni Olivia Olsen (Bell) is the ultimate high school loser and perennial target of resident queen bee Joanna (Odette Yustman). Life turned for the better when she graduated. She became a hotshot public relations person that just received promotion in their Big Apple office. Things are going great until Joanna returned as an eternal nightmare – this time as the future bride of her dear old brother (James Wolk). Her mother Gail (Curtis) reminded Marni to take in stride since people change and even mean girls deserve a second chance. A life lesson Gail has to learn once more after meeting Joanna’s Aunt Mona (Weaver), an old trouble from the past.
Bell or Veronica Mars – still her best role – absolved her acting self after the disastrous When in Rome. Just a clarification, You Again is not redemption, but her performance is. Our girl can do better than this mess. Raising a nonexistent wine glass, here is to better projects for Kristin
SNL hosting stints. Snickers ad. Several magazine covers. If you are a terrible baker, sprinkle some essence of Betty and it will transform into the scrumptious pastries. There is no need to discuss the wonderful Miss White who turned the heat up a notch in Cleveland not even Lebron James can manage.
Though this movie is more of an embarrassment for Curtis and Weaver, I look at this as some sort of quick break from their superb record. Like an hour in the spa. Like additional fun benefits for veteran performers. So nice to see fit and fabulous un-Botoxed ladies in on-screen. Their combined age of 113 does not deter men from developing milf-ing tendencies. (You gotta hear the hoots and considerable oohs and aahs from the audience last night.) Natural. Real. I do hope Heidi Montag and their ilk should watch these fantastic dames strut their stuff. I am fortunate to see them age with absolute grace. Great role models.
Cameo appearances of The Rock as a sensitive air marshal and craziness personified Cloris Leachman add up to the chaotic merriment. Plus Hall and Oates. Chick flick freak? Just needs a de-stressor? Tired after some serious office work? You Again is the right prescription. Screw the critics.