Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Jay Ellis

QuickView: Somebody I Used To Know (2023)

“It’s like you build your whole life around this one thing, and then what if it was the wrong thing?”


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 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 fiancĂ©e 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.


QuickView: Escape Room (2019)

“Survival is a CHOICE.”

Jason Walker

Once the latest craze becomes mainstream, it is only a matter of time before Hollywood seeks to cash in with a formulaic script and general disregard for the specific nuance of its subject matter. Escape Room‘s by-the-numbers horror is doubly burdened by the fact that the Saw series has already trodden much of this ground with a sharper bite. The film is rarely sympathetic towards its victims, lured into and trapped in a series of deadly puzzle rooms, treating their past trauma merely as plot points. There is mild entertainment to be found in the initial stages as the strangers meet and realise their circumstance. From there it swiftly loses its way, less engaging the more elaborate it becomes.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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