Somebody I Used to Know (2023)

Somebody I Used to Know (2023)

2023 R 106 Minutes

Romance | Comedy | Drama

On a trip to her hometown, workaholic Ally reminisces with her first love Sean, and starts to question everything about the person she's become. Things only get more confusing when she meets Sean's...

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    6 / 10
    Valentines Day has come and passed and the anniversary of when me and my girlfriend first met went swimmingly so I figured “Why not try my shot at another rom-com?” And “Somebody I Used To Know” was the nearest film I could find.

    Very basic, sometimes cute……a tad bit but a fun watch regardless.

    If I had to get the basis on Dave Franco’s sense of direction, idiosyncratic seems too far but calling it a trainwreck isn’t fair either. His first crack at it is about what I expected without going fully by-the-numbers about it. There is a definite flow between the laid-back feel of the camerawork and solid editing on all fronts, many of It’s comedic moments are meant to poke fun at reality TV, assuming you’re a fan of that and the production design compares as much as it contrasts the nature of one life clashing and trying to congeal with another that doesn’t fit; using the lush Pacific Northwest setting to full significant effect.

    I am glad the film knows when to work around it’s tone and that the pacing doesn’t drag on or skip over anything vital and these grey-shaded characters are grounded enough on their own to where the already well-rounded cast help them stand out ever so slightly more.

    Think My Best Friends Wedding crossbred with Bridget Jone’s Diary: that’s what this storyline is basically about except here, it revolves mostly around the taking stock of life choices that often happens in mid-adulthood; here, it boils down to whether Ally thinks she can win back her ex or if she is merely taking out her frustrations in recognizing what she turned down years ago. The use of references and familiar tropes here, despite how derivative it is, draws on mean girl tendencies, jealousies, and regrets.….and at least the film is self-aware enough in its direction and dialogue to know our central character isn’t as innocent as she proclaims herself to be and to not shy away from making characters that are just annoying enough to stomach in the first place without shoving them down our throats.

    Cause that is ultimately the point: personal growth and the search for true happiness without torpedoing the lives of everyone else. It doesn’t border on any narrow views or excessive romanticism and narrowly avoids being run on an emotional core that feels sanitized rather than semi-genuine; an interesting look at the idea of ‘the one that got away’ through a critical lens and deconstructing that pathos to force the audience to stop and ponder the difference between real love and what Hollywood deems as romantic.

    For all the work it goes into trying to avoid those tropes, however, it can’t avoid falling into most of those pitfalls. I think the biggest issue to take away from this movie is a severe lack of a sharper focus; it talks and it definitely has something interesting to say but it hardly feels like much is being discussed we don’t already know. Yes, it doesn’t change knowing how this story plays out from a mile away but there was a missed opportunity there.

    You have the typical comedic moments that don’t land, music choices that felt awkward and this is yet another one of those plotlines that feature the ridiculous drama being drawn out by characters refusing to communicate; it isn’t Twilight or Fifty Shades levels of annoying but it’s still a pet peeve knowing the movie would’ve been over in five seconds if they just actually talked like adults from the offset. And yes, the conflict does get resolved a little too quickly.

    Similar to The Broken Hearts Gallery, it actually does play with its conventions and implications of the cliches it invites by giving it earnestness from a voice sincere enough to pass. It doesn’t have nearly enough wry or wit as that film and many sequences feel more scripted than here but the end result is the same.