There’s a dance-off in You Again that pits the four lead female characters against one another in what’s meant to be a laugh-riot of chaotic bad moves. Instead, you cringe in embarrassment—not just for the lifelessness of the scene, but for the actresses giving it their all, especially Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver, who deserve so much better. Written by Moe Jelline and flatly directed by Andy Fickman, You Again is the uninspired tale of Marni (Kristen Bell), a high school ugly duckling who’s grown up to be a babe but still carries wounds of being taunted by the mean girls—whose leader, Joanna (Odette Yustman), is set to marry Marni’s older brother. Flipped out of her confidence zone back into the psychic realm of underdog, Marni schemes to stop the wedding and expose the witch in bridal clothing. Meanwhile, her mother, Gail (Curtis), lives out a similar narrative with a blast from her past in the form of Ramona (Weaver). What follows is one set piece after another in which the women make fools of themselves as the script herds them toward a happy ending of hugs and tears. Weaver bites into her bitchy role with relish, but only Kristin Chenoweth (as a wedding planner) and Kyle Bornheimer (as a deranged ex-boyfriend) rise above this dud.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 22, 2010