Dave Francoâ€™s ‘Somebody I Used To Know’: A Bursting Romantic Comedy
Dave Francoâ€™s Somebody I Used To Know is a bold and nuanced romantic comedy that aims to entertain, but struggles to find a consistent tone.
The Excitement of Reunited Comedic Chemistry
As a passionate diehard fan of Dan Harmonâ€™s brilliant sitcom Community (2009-2014), the sight of Alison Brie and Danny Pudi sharing the screen again in Somebody I Used To Know immediately thrilled me. The genuine chemistry and charm between the two actors, who have spent years working together, make their scenes my ultimate favorite part of the movie.
If the film had focused solely on the pair attending a wedding and getting involved in wacky hijinks, it would have been more enjoyable. However, Somebody I Used To Know is not that kind of film. Director Dave Franco has created a conflicting narrative that oscillates between being a classic romantic comedy and an emotionally-charged drama.
A Chaotic Narrative Identity
The story follows Ally (Alison Brie), a TV showrunner recently impacted by the cancellation of her latest series. She travels back to her hometown, where she reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Sean (Jay Ellis). Their reunion takes a surprising turn when Ally discovers that Sean is engaged to Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Ally’s younger self.
The film seems uncertain about how to portray Ally’s character. Brie’s brilliant portrayal brings vibrancy and goofiness to her role as a rom-com protagonist. However, her actions often contradict the comedic tone. Throughout the story, Ally is shown as a reprehensible individual, attempting to seduce an engaged man or maliciously sabotaging the wedding. While these actions may be typical for rom-com hijinks, Franco aspires to tell a more nuanced romantic story that demands serious consideration. Yet, this conflict results in constant tonal inconsistency.
Kiersey Clemons, on the other hand, feels like she belongs in an entirely different film. She plays Cassidy, a complex queer punk rock singer, with utmost seriousness. By the third act, Franco abandons any resemblance of a rom-com and shifts the focus entirely to drama and conflict.
A Nuanced Exploration of Expectations
When the film delves into nuanced storytelling, it succeeds remarkably well. One intriguing aspect it brings up is the expectation for individuals to sacrifice everything for their partners. In a genre where most films revolve around workaholics learning to prioritize family over career, Somebody I Used To Know challenges this notion. Franco argues that individuals can focus on their careers without sacrificing their personal lives for someone else’s needs. The character of Sean, initially poised as a potential one-dimensional villain, ultimately reflects on his behavior and realizes his mistakes.
Additionally, the film’s strength lies in its sheer entertainment value. While it leans more towards charm than laugh-out-loud humor, the charismatic cast makes it an enjoyable watch. Notably, Haley Joel Osment stands out as the film’s comedic relief, infusing every line with childlike giddiness that brings a smile to the audience’s faces. Danny Pudi, serving as Ally’s best friend and confidant despite years apart, portrays his character with genuine compassion that instantly reestablishes trust. Brie and Pudi’s onscreen chemistry, developed during their time on Community, shines through in the most entertaining and natural scenes.
If you’re seeking a solid, entertaining romantic comedy, Somebody I Used To Know is a worthy choice. While its plot may not withstand close scrutiny, its thematic exploration is genuinely interesting. Franco and Brie manage to tell a complex story within the rom-com genre. With a brilliant cast, generally successful comedy, and the reunion of Brie and Pudi, this film leaves the audience satisfied.
1. Is ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ a typical romantic comedy?
No, ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ attempts to blend elements of a romantic comedy with a more emotionally-driven narrative, resulting in a tone that fluctuates between the two genres.
2. Is the chemistry between Alison Brie and Danny Pudi evident in the film?
Absolutely! Brie and Pudi’s scenes together showcase their genuine chemistry, honed during their collaboration on the sitcom ‘Community.’
3. Does the film offer thought-provoking themes?
Yes, ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ challenges conventional expectations in romantic relationships, exploring the idea that individuals can prioritize their careers without sacrificing their personal lives for their partners.
4. Is the film primarily humorous or more heartfelt?
The film leans more towards charm and entertainment value rather than outright hilarity. However, it does have its humorous moments and manages to strike a balance between comedy and drama.
5. Is it necessary to be familiar with ‘Community’ to enjoy the film?
No, prior knowledge of ‘Community’ is not essential to appreciate and enjoy ‘Somebody I Used To Know.’ The film stands on its own, delivering an engaging romantic comedy experience.