“It’s like you build your whole life around this one thing, and then what if it was the wrong thing?”Ally
A husband-and-wife project written by Alison Brie and Dave Franco, directed by Franco and starring Brie, Somebody I Used to Know makes a pretty awful early impression before clawing its way back to mediocrity. Ostensibly a romantic comedy, the script is shamelessly in derivative in its story of a woman rekindling an old relationship with a man about to get married and setting out to sabotage the wedding, but it at least has the self-awareness to name check My Best Friend’s Wedding directly. Tonally incoherent, large swathes of the film are heavy drama interrupted by crude, often gross-out humour. Its finest moments satirise the state of reality TV produced by a creatively bankrupt Hollywood system, but those sequences feel disjointed from the narrative. The acting is the highlight, particularly Haley Joel Osment clearly enjoying himself, and Brie’s amiable chemistry with fellow Community alum Danny Pudi (standing in for Rupert Everett’s disapproving George). Whilst the narrative is tritely predictable, lacking a sense of authenticity, there is a resonating truth in the title’s reference less to the leads’ former relationship but more that fiancée Cassidy reminds Ally of whom she used to be. Also worthy of comment is the film’s unusual use of occasional nudity to denote Ally’s (lost) sense of freedom rather than for titillation. There are elements that work on their own merits then, but the laughs are limited and it’s a lesser, messier take on a film I used to know.