Friday, February 10, 2023

She tries to woo an old lover


Dave Franco directs his wife Alison Brie in Somebody I Used to Know, a comedy about an LA woman (Brie) who hits a career rough patch, retreats to her hometown, and reunites -- sort of -- with a former boyfriend (Jay Ellis). Brie's Ally also visits her mother (Julie Hagerty), a woman whose sexual encounters continually are interrupted by her daughter. Funny? Not really. Ally left her former beau to suffer when she went to Los Angeles hoping to become a serious filmmaker. Instead, she wound up producing a reality TV show, a hit for a while but then canceled. Ellis's Sean seems interested in Ally but instead of a straight-ahead romcom, we get a comedy with a complicating twist that sours a movie that wasn't all that great from the start: Sean is engaged to be married to Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), a musician who has had relationships with other women but wants to settle down. Transparent in her motives  and off-putting to the point of obnoxiousness, Ally tries to forestall the pending nuptials. Working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Brie, Franco maneuvers his way to an ending in which ruffled feathers are smoothed and everyone gets on with their lives. Good for them but not for a comedy that lacks both perceptive bite and laughs.

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