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Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010 05:42 pm

You almost saved by Bell


Sometimes the vim and verve of a single performer can save an otherwise dull production. Take You Again. (Please!) There’s very little in the way of originality here yet you couldn’t tell by the efforts of its star, Kristin Bell. Talk about the old college try, this young actress plays each scene as though she were in a Tracy/Hepburn vehicle and invests herself far more than the script by Moe Jelline deserves. And wouldn’t you know it, she almost pulls it off, making this by-the-numbers comedy bearable, giving us a heroine to root for as the predictable plays out before us.

Marni (Bell) is a young woman who has overcome her awkward high school years to become a vice-president at a New York publicity firm. However, she steps into her own way-back machine when she returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding. Seems her future sister-in-law, Joanna (Odette Yustman), was the one who bullied her as a teen. To make matter worse, Joanna’s Aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) was her mother Gail’s (Jaime Lee Curtis) best friend way back when before a boy came between them.

As the film progresses, tension steadily builds between the feuding pairs, some funnier than others, each more ridiculous than the last. While the movie does its best to put on a moral face, reminding us about the divinity of forgiveness and all that jazz, there’s simply a staleness to the proceedings that it can’t shake. We’ve been here and it’s been done better before. However, You does brighten whenever Bell’s on screen. She’s plucky as well as sympathetic and if anything, the movie provides a bit of a showcase for her.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.

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