Somebody I Used to Know

February 10, 202360/1006 min
Alison Brie, Jay Ellis, Kiersey Clemons
Written by
Dave Franco and Alison Brie
Directed by
Dave Franco
Run Time
1h 46min
Release Date
February 10th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

   I have never lived in a small town, but I suspect that if I did, I would want to bail as soon as humanly possible for the big city. Of course I have just described the idea behind the creation of a lot of songs and story ideas for movies, so stop me if you have heard this one before. Person leaves small town and makes it big elsewhere, but comes back after a setback in their life. When they return, an old flame is rekindled and it could be the start of something beautiful.

               Of course you have seen that before, so you might think Somebody I Used to Know will be pretty familiar, well don’t be too sure, because it appears to take the path less traveled. Ally (Alison Brie) has just finished production of the third season of her show, but she is about to get the ending she didn’t want. After declining ratings she is getting cancelled, so with time on her hands, she decides to head home, you know, to sort everything out. Things get off to an exciting start when she walks in on her mother Libby (Julie Hagerty) enjoying an act, so Ally heads to a watering hole she used to frequent. It is there that she runs into Sean  (Jay Ellis), her old boyfriend, whom she left to go and chase her dream 10 years ago. After a few drinks they go on a pretzel adventure and end up spending the night reminiscing about the past and seeming like staring a possible future together. For Ally she starts to believe she has been given a second chance with that special someone, but a wrench is about to be thrown into her plans. It turns out Sean is about to get married to a girl named Cassidy  (Kiersey Clemons), but instead of raising the white flag, Ally takes it as a challenge, which is about to make for a very interesting weekend.

Written by Brie and Dave Franco, the later also directing, together they actually use what you expect to happen but gives you something different. Somebody I Used to Know never becomes a romcom good time, but instead becomes a more human dramedy that puts the nail in the coffin of the concept that you can truly never go home. The story is not too original, as it does tread very familiar ground, but what elevates it is the great ensemble cast, which really seems perfectly put together. Brie and Clemons lead the way, with Brie giving a very energetic performance, and Clemons being the most intriguing character. The rest of the cast just seem to be having a great time, especially Haley Joel Osment, who play’s Sean’s brother, and the always sunny Hagerty.

             Ultimately Somebody I Used to Know is less about finding love than it is about finding that spark inside you to ignite your dreams. Humor is not its strongest offering , but overall gives you some laughs. Instead its strength lies in its ability to pull on your heartstrings and in the not-by-the-book-ending that you get. For me it is definitely a winner and has me looking forward to what both Franco and Brie have to offer next.

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