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A great cast can't save a dull, tired, unfunny comedy.

Blu-ray Review: You Again

You Again is a painfully unfunny comedy that was received poorly by critics and audiences alike during its theatrical run in September, 2010. Available on Blu-ray as a combo pack that includes a standard DVD, it’s hard to imagine this shambles providing much repeat entertainment value for anyone. That’s a shame, because the ensemble cast is certainly talented. Veteran actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver struggle to pump some energy into their roles. Betty White is on hand for what amounts to a cameo (despite prominent billing). Alas, no amount of mugging can make up for the predictable plotting and tired jokes.

Kristen Bell plays Marni, formerly a high school geek who endured merciless bullying. This relentlessly poor treatment, shown at the film’s outset via flashback, was led by the school’s resident queen bitch Joanna (Odette Yustman). Now a confident twentysomething, Marni holds a respected position with a large PR firm. She receives news that her older brother Will (James Wolk) is getting married. His fiance is none other than Joanna, who it turns out lost both her parents shortly after high school and dedicated her life to humanitarianism.

This all sets up Marni and Joanna to come to terms with their past as high school enemies. Joanna has tried her best to cover up her past, claiming to not even remember Marni. She wants to impress her in-laws, after all. Marni can’t stand the idea of her brother marrying a woman she views as pure evil. Adding to the wackiness, it turns out that Marni’s mom Gail (Curtis) had a similarly tormented relationship with Joanna’s aunt Ramona (Weaver). The way the plot unfolds is simply too lame for words. Unless you’ve never seen a romantic comedy before, you’ll see every plot development well in advance of it actually occurring.

Moe Jelline’s screenplay leaves no cliche untouched. There’s really nothing wrong with predictable formula, as long as the laughs are there. But these situations simply aren’t funny. A goofy dance off might have been fun for the actors, but like so many of the gags there is no pay-off. Betty White was obviously cast as a way to capitalize on the senior actress’ recent hot streak. Her comic timing is utterly wasted in a few brief scenes, as if director Andy Fickman believed her mere presence would inspire hilarity. The impossibly gorgeous Odette Yustman fares best amongst the ensemble; not only is she delectable but also highly charismatic. But truthfully, everyone in the cast deserved far better.

The best news about You Again is that it looks excellent on Blu-ray. Framed at 2.40:1, the 1080p transfer is a pleasure to look at. It’s a very colorful movie, and all that bold color is well represented. Detail is rich, with various textures registering strongly. This is especially true of outdoor scenes, such as the foliage on display during a jog through the park. Actor’s skin tones appear very natural. I didn’t see any digital artifacts in this flawless transfer.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is serviceable. You Again sounds fine, with dialogue always loud and clear. The jaunty score and occasional pop songs are full-bodied without ever being overbearing. There just isn’t much to get excited about, as the soundfield remains relatively inactive throughout. Again this shouldn’t be seen as criticism as this character-based comedy doesn’t require anything more than it delivers. The rear channels don’t see a lot of activity, with most of the sound being front and center.

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release of You Again includes a smattering of bonus features. Unlike some combo pack releases, which include a totally bare bones movie-only DVD, both discs include supplemental material. The featurettes “Following Fickman: On Set With the Director,” “Ask the Cast,” and “Funny or Die” appear on both discs. A few deleted scenes are included on both discs, with the Blu-ray boasting significantly more deleted material (twenty minutes in total). Also exclusive to the Blu-ray is the “Blooper Dance Party” outtake reel.

As fluffy as all the supplemental material is, it was actually far funnier than the movie itself. That is to say, You Again didn’t provide one single laugh during its indulgent one hour and forty-five minute running time. The bloopers resulted in a smile or two, especially when Kristen Bell sarcastically says, “I’m going to have to ADR this entire thing, because do you guys hear that? All that Oscar buzz? It’s everywhere.” Too bad there wasn’t a single line that funny in the entire movie.

Photos: © Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


About The Other Chad

An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."

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