After TV broadcaster and workaholic, Ally, is informed her show is not being picked up for a fourth season, she heads back to her home town to visit her mother. Her plan is to spend some time in her old haunts, and indulge in some much-needed rest and relaxation.
On the first night back home, she is enjoying a drink in one of the local bars when she bumps into her ex-boyfriend, Sean. Ally and Sean were once in a long-term relationship, but they broke up when they both found themselves moving in different directions in life.
After spending a few minutes catching up, they leave the bar and spend an evening hanging out. The pair then get some food, have a few drinks, and have an enjoyable night together, just like they did during the better days of their relationship.
At the end of the evening, as they are saying goodbye, Ally implies she would like to spend the night with Sean. However, he doesn’t appear to be so keen, and the night ends with Ally feeling a little confused.
The next day, Ally learns why Sean turned her down. Sean is engaged to Cassidy, and they are due to get married later that week.
Over the next few days, Ally finds herself getting involved in the wedding, and getting to know Cassidy. But all the while, she still harbours feelings for Sean, and doesn’t know whether to act upon them or not.
Directed and co-written by Dave Franco, Somebody I Used to Know is a romantic drama-comedy, which is new to Amazon Prime Video from today. The film stars Alison Brie (who co-wrote the movie with Franco), alongside Jay Ellis, Kiersey Clemons, Danny Pudi, Haley Joel Osment, and Julie Hagerty, and tells the story of a middle-aged woman, reflecting on her life, as well as a past relationship.
The story being told is one of contemplation, regret, and growth. Somebody I Used to Know is about looking back at the relationship that ‘got away’, and working out if the right decisions were made all those years ago.
For Ally, she has reached a point in her life where she’s not quite sure where to go next, so she’s retracing her steps and walking familiar ground. Some of this familiar ground involves Sean, who is a sort-of comfort blanket for her during an unstable period in time, and she enjoys getting to know him again.
But this movie isn’t so much about reconnecting with Sean, as it is about Ally reconnecting with herself. The title of the picture has a double meaning, and this is very much a film about self-discovery.
Thankfully, that self-discovery is interesting to watch, and while Somebody I Used to Know isn’t particularly original in its plotting, it is decent stuff. The story being told is easy to get into, at times it can feel quite relatable, and lead star Alison Brie (Ally) is certainly quite likeable.
Where I believe the film stumbles a little is in the handling of its comedy. While Somebody I Used to Know has some great comedic moments, it doesn’t lean into them enough.
Every once in a while, the film demonstrates there is a lot of fun to be had in this picture, and yet it always seems to hold back just as it is making audiences laugh. Even though this is an enjoyable film, it does feel a bit like a movie which is wrestling with itself, not knowing if it wants to be a romantic comedy, or a romantic drama.
Ultimately, the film goes for a mix of both, but it isn’t an even split. The drama far outweighs the comedy, and this is a shame, as a few more gags are needed to lighten some of the more reflective moments.
But, irrespective of the slight imbalance in tone, Somebody I Used to Know is fine, and certainly watchable stuff for the Valentine’s weekend. It’s doubtful it’ll stay in anyone’s mind for too long, but just like some relationships, it is good while it lasts.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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