I can definitely see people reading the synopsis of this movie and thinking, “Isn’t this the same premise as My Best Friend’s Wedding?” While that sentiment is true, as it turns out, Somebody I Used To Know acknowledges this fact, and delivers something more realistic and genuine. Directed by Dave Franco, who co-wrote the film with his wife Alison Brie, this movie definitely offers something deeper and more reflective on the part of its protagonist, also played by Alison Brie. And just like My Best Friend’s Wedding, Somebody I Used to Know is a romantic comedy; however, I will defend this film as much better interpretation of a similar scenario that just happens to have some delightful comedy to boot.
Alison Brie stars as Ally, a successful documentary filmmaker-turned-reality television program head, who has reached a dead-end in her career and life. Her once successful show has been cancelled, and her personal, romantic life also seems to be going nowhere. Totally lost, and and unsure what exactly to do next, Ally decides to visit her sleepy hometown where her loving and supporting mother Libby (Julie Hagerty) lives. While back in her old stomping grounds, Ally runs into her ex-boyfriend, and one-time fiance Sean (Jay Ellis).
The two former lovers take a trip down memory lane, and have what seems to be a wonderful evening that mostly picks up where they left off. That is, until Ally discovers that Sean is about to get married. Convinced that they should have never ended their relationship, Ally decides to use the love of Sean’s family and close friends and get invited to the festivities. Things get even more awkward when Sean’s fiance Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons) suspects foul play and keeps Ally under her very watchful eyes.
Now, I don’t wish to spoil too much about this movie, but I adored the hell out of it, and feel that it is a much better take on the jealous ex attempting to disrupt a wedding premise. I feel that both Brie and Franco do a great job of better developing the characters, along with everyone’s life experiences so far, and how everything eventually plays out. In addition, I absolutely enjoyed the natural humor, mixed with awkward tension that unravels throughout the movie. I laughed so much while watching this movie, and feel that the filmmakers never use any gimmicks to make this movie an enjoyable experience.
While I think that Alison Brie is such a charismatic and lovable superstar here, I also much acknowledge the great performances of Jay Ellis and Kiersey Clemons who both carry their own weight here. Though I have never previously watched the show Community, I can definitely see why Franco and Brie chose to cast Brie’s Community co-star Danny Pudi as both Sean and Ally’s best friend Benny, and the voice of reason in the film. I also really enjoyed the comedic and silly turn of Haley Joel Osment as Sean’s brother Jeremy who is just goofy and so much fun.
Somebody I Used to Know is getting released for streaming on Amazon Prime, but is a movie I would genuinely recommend for viewing on the big screen, had it gotten a theatrical release. It is just so damn funny and full of heart, and I sincerely hope that it finds its share of admirers like me.