Film Review – Somebody I Used to Know
Somebody I Used to Know
After takingon the scary category with The Rental (2020), actor-turned-director Dave Franco has put his sights on the romantic funny with Somebody I Used to Know (2023). Teaming up with co-writer/star Alison Brie, Franco weaves a familiar tale of love, love triangles, and all the messiness that comes with it. Fans of the category will see a familiar structure – the ebb and circulation of the story does not deviate too far from what has worked in the past. However, Franco and Brie include their own twist to the product. This is not just about the hijinks of a rom com – it is likewise a story about self-respect and individual identity. While not all the components work cohesively, the aspiration to checkout those locations is noteworthy.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. Ally (Brie), is a workaholic who hasactually positioned her profession above her household, relationships, and love life. Her task consists of producing trashy truth TELEVISION videogame programs. After her mostcurrent gig goes south, Ally chooses to checkout her mom (Julie Hagerty), in the charming little town of Leavenworth, WA. Leavenworth is one of those locations where Christmas appears to be takingplace all year – the structures themselves appearance like gingerbread homes. During her checkout, Ally runs into Sean (Jay Ellis), a previous sweetheart she left to pursue her profession in movie/TV. Right away, we sense that the love inbetween Ally and Sean have not dissipated. In reality, their reunion is so sweet and charming that it might really well be an unscripted date. Things get complex with Ally discovers that Sean is engaged to punk rocker Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), whom he simply so occurs to be weding in a coupleof days. Realizing that her possibility to revive her love with Sean is slipping away, Ally chooses to crash the celebrations in hopes of winning him back.
Yes, this is a beat for beat retelling of My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997). The 2 stories are so carefully mirrored that at specific points I began seeing the parallels inbetween character types. But where the Julia Roberts starring car played more as a straight funny, Franco and Brie take a various course. They effort to overturn the tropes of the category by takingalookat the dreams and objectives of the specific characters. Ally is torn inbetween pursuing a profession in documentary filmmaking and the connection she still has with Sean. Cassidy feels the pull inbetween exploring as a artist and settling down to a life of domesticity. As for Sean, he is stuck in the middle, inbetween the female he is about to wed and the female who got away. Abandoned by his birth momsanddads, Sean has a various view of what married life must be, and that viewpoint clashes with both Ally and Cassidy.
In the minute, this love triangle appears concrete and genuine, with Brie, Ellis, and Clemons providing strong efficiencies. Once the motionpicture is over and we analyze it as a entire, the crisscrossing characteristics puton’t make a lot of sense. Ally is a hardworking, career-oriented individual. One afternoon with her ex would lead to her ingratiating herself into his weddingevent appears out of character. Several times, characters ask her why she is even there, to which she can’t supply an response. The relationship inbetween Sean and Cassidy is even more of a headscratcher. In her character, music, and general temperament, Cassidy appears to be a complimentary and independent spirit. The reality that we are expected to think that she would fall head over heels in love with Sean, who is (no offense) a bit of a square, doesn’t ring real. The narrative attempts to work around this problem by discussing that their engagement was hurried, however that feels more like a fasterway.
I have lived in Washington State for most of my life and haveactually been to Leavenworth anumberof times. It’s a stunning town that bringsin travelers year-round. You can swim in close-by lakes and rivers throughout the summerseason or go snowboarding in the winterseason. It has such an recognizable visual that I’m stunned it hasn’t been included in more films. With that stated, the production missedouton an chance to emphasize the environments. Colors have a dull and stagnant tone. In a motionpicture that hinges on high feelings, Franco’s naturalistic, down to earth method neither increases the significant stress nor magnifies all the love, anger, and jealousy flying about. The design worked muchbetter in The Rental in worrying the underlying fear and fear. Here, where love triggers individuals to make illogical options, the visual textures work in contrast to the story.
How does one love another if they cannot love themselves? That is the running style. How that concept plays out is irregular, particularly in the latter half. Franco (and to a bigger degree, Brie), takes a huge swing when it comes to characters welcoming themselves, to the point of being overtly apparent. While the effort is exceptional, the execution is imbalanced. Subtlety is noplace to be discovered – characters clearly speak their every believed and sensation to make sure the point gets throughout. The concept of “opening up” and “being your own individual” has such significance that we concern if this is an “anti” rom com. So much effort is put into characters living for themselves that we marvel why any of them would desire to be with anybody else to start with.
Somebody I Used to Know avoids the trap of being a Hallmark Movie by placing a level of melancholy and consideration. But it’s those extremely components that moistens the feeling. Franco, Brie, and the rest of the production go too far in the other instructions, taking what might’ve been a clever and remarkable romantic story and turning it into a great however forgettable one.