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‘Somebody I Used to Know’ contemplates change through comedy

Graphic by Sarah Irwin

Heartwarming, comedic and unpredictable are all words that describe director Dave Franco’s “Somebody I Used to Know,” which was recently released on Amazon Prime Video. 

The film, which isn’t a typical romantic comedy, opens with the main character, Ally (Alison Brie) at work when she receives troubling news that her famous reality TV show might be canceled. This leads her to take a trip to her hometown where she spots and catches up with her ex, Sean (Jay Ellis). 

After spending time together, Ally realizes that she still has feelings for Sean, but things take a turn when she finds out that he is engaged to be married in only a few days. Ally is then jealous when she realizes that Sean’s fiance, Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons), reminds her of who she used to be.

From the start, there is a healthy amount of humor. I wasn’t expecting it to be funny, but I was pleasantly surprised. As for the pace of the film, it moves pretty fast. It jumps right into the drama from the beginning, which was helpful for my short attention span. 

When it comes to the characters, Ally is a protagonist that is easy to love. Despite her impulsive decisions that often lead to chaos, she still manages to redeem herself. Brie’s acting brings Ally’s character to life and it was satisfying to watch her development.

The central theme of the movie is losing yourself. Ally moved away from home and completely forgot who she was before she found fame. As the story progresses, she begins to find herself again by spending time in her hometown.

Both Cassidy and Ally struggled with the decision of chasing their dreams or giving them up to be in a relationship with Sean. Initially, they hate each other, but they later discover that they have more in common than they thought. There was an interesting parallel between the two women and I liked how they are able to form a friendship.

Overall, the movie is pleasantly unpredictable. This was both good and bad because there are surprising scenes; however, there are also a few unnecessary moments. One of the most irrelevant scenes depicted Cassidy and Ally sharing a kiss. This intimate moment was never addressed later in the movie, and it ended up being completely pointless. Luckily, there was a healthy balance between irrelevant scenes and ones that were shocking, yet meaningful.

Speaking of the unexpected, I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie with children, because there is a lot of nudity. In fact, Ally herself was a nudist, and that is one of the many things she realizes she misses about her old self.

Regardless of the few inessential scenes and casual nudity, the film’s message is clear and the humor and character development bring all of the components together. I recommend “Somebody That I Used to Know” to people who generally enjoy rom-coms or comedies. It’s a fun watch and it can make viewers question how they may have also strayed from their true selves.

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