Released 2010 (Kazakhstan and Russia simultaneously)*
American, in English
Director - Andy Fickman
Stars - Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Annable
When former nerd Marni (Bell) discovers that her older brother Will (James Wolk) is marrying her high school nemesis Joanna (Annable), she becomes determined to show Joanna’s true colors to Will. Curtis co-stars as Marni’s mother Gail, who turns out to have a similar long-standing feud with Joanna’s aunt, Mona (Weaver).
Minor violence, very mild blue language.
I wouldn’t say that this movie is unrealistic in the way that people interact. Lots of people are immature. Lots of people don’t like confrontation. So I don’t find it far-fetched that Marni & Joanna and Gail & Mona would pick at each other rather than sit down and have adult conversations with each other. And I know that this movie wouldn’t be this movie if everyone in it acted like an adult. However, it was really frustrating that, at the very least, Marni never sat Will down and said, “Hey, you know what? Your fiancee made high school a living nightmare for me and she won’t apologize for it and it makes me feel really awful.” Would that really be so hard?
I didn’t like the ending. [SPOILER] I didn’t buy Joanna’s “transformation.” She had ample opportunity to pull Marni aside and apologize. Not only did she not do that, she refused to do it when asked to. That’s not the hallmark of a nice, mature person. Furthermore, she lied rather extensively to Will. I personally have a big problem with liars, and would rather that films not show people easily forgiving liars and taking them back because people who lie like that have serious issues. [SPOILER]
I loved that, during their big confrontation, when Joanna tried to brush off Marni’s concerns with “oh, that was high school,” Marni said, “No, you don’t get to belittle this.” I thought that was very powerful. I wish that more bullies could hear and understand that.
Everyone was great, but I especially loved the bit players in this. The Rock was hilarious in his cameo. When is Betty White (as Marni’s grandma, Bunny) not awesome? I also thought that Kristin Chenoweth (as wedding planner Georgia King) was very funny.
There was a lot more warmth to it than other, similar movies.
Full disclosure: I tend to hate movies where people are mean to each other for “comedic” effect. I don’t find it funny. I went into this movie expecting it to be like that. I wouldn’t say that I found it funny per se. I don’t recall laughing a whole lot. However, I did find that some of it resonated with me. I was bullied in elementary and junior high school, but fortunately largely ignored in high school. I recall how painful it was. At this point, I’m well past it. I wouldn’t expect any apologies. But if I’d run into any of those people when I was under 30, it might have been a different story. Not an “I need revenge” story like this, but the pain would have felt fresher, like it did for Marni. I got where she was coming from and I could relate on a certain level. I also know how going back to where you came from can make you feel like an insecure kid all over again. Lastly, the “meanness” level in this was a lot lower than I was expecting, so I didn’t spend too much time cringing uncomfortably. For the most part, I enjoyed it.
I give it 3.5 stars.
*Weird, I know. It was released in the U.S. the next day.