Thursday, February 9, 2023

Somebody I Used to Know: Movie Review

Limited character but a fun and flawed lead character.
What starts out as a typical and potentially boring rom-com turns into a devious little comedy with everybody on their worst behaviour, and then flips into a character study of a broken woman realizing all the wrong choices she has made and then has to tidy up her messes. If all of the other romantic comedies this February are for the couples, then this one is for the singles who hopefully are smart enough to not destroy their ex’s wedding.   2023

Directed by: Dave Franco

Screenplay by: Dave Franco, Alison Brie

Starring: Alison Brie, Jay Ellis, Kiersey Clemons, and Danny Pudi

Ally (Alison Brie) is the broken woman. She’s a reality TV show producer in LA, who just had her show "Dessert Island" cancelled, so she hops on a plane back to her hometown of Leavenworth, Washington. Where she conveniently runs into her ex-boyfriend Sean (Jay Ellis). With Sean settled in Leavenworth and Ally at a standstill in her professional life, things look destined to be rekindled. And this is the point where audiences will be pleased to know that things take a different turn since Ally has more chemistry with her cat than the leading man and their relationship is very boring.

The key detail that Sean left out during their night of rekindling: he’s getting married. But Ally has now been invited to their pre-wedding festivities by Sean’s family who she still gets along really with. At this point the movie is funny, we’ve been introduced to Danny Pudi as Sean’s brother (reconnecting Alison Brie with her Community pal), and Ally is poised to use all of her reality TV show techniques to manipulate people into acting how she wants and creating drama where there really doesn’t need to be any.

The potential for comedy is funnier than it actually is. Ally does indeed make many wrong decisions which are enjoyable but the film keeps things fairly muted. Ally is supposed to remain a likeable heroine after all and it’s obvious that the film has left room for Ally to clean up all the messes that she has created. There’s a tiny twist near the end which was choreographed in advance eliminating the surprise and reducing the comedy. The running joke with walking in on her mom having sex isn’t very funny either.

With comedy left on the table, Somebody I Used to Know isn’t as flat-out funny as most people would want from it. But it is enjoyable. Ally is a fun character who makes so many wrong decisions, but eventually figures out where the right decisions are. A very flawed character who gets her happy ending and deserves it.

Available on Amazon Prime Video worldwide

Something Similar But Different:

  The People We Hate at the Wedding (2022) - A chaotic family dramedy with broken people crashing an upscale wedding.

  I Want You Back (2022) - A screwball romantic comedy about heartbreak and loneliness.

  We Broke Up (2021) - A romantic dramedy featuring a freshly broken up couple at the wedding of a recently met couple.

(P.S. If you liked what you read, please consider clicking on an ad. It will cost you nothing, but will force the advertisers to pay me something.)