IT'S NOT ENTIRELY easy, when you think about it, to make the case that cheerleaders ever recovered their place as a dominant social caste in American high schools post-1980s. But they are apparently still an irresistibly easy signifier to the manufacturers of Hollywood drivel, and thus it's no surprise that a watered-down tale of rivalry like You Again would reach to them in a mad grab for the security of middlebrow appeal.
Much like we all did back in our budding pre-adulthoods, You Again has real potential. Kristen Bell as Marni, the bullied high school geek who grew up right, pitted against a beautiful bitch no-name (Odette Yustman) as her former bully and soon-to-be sister-in-law, is a fine set-up for a good girl fight. Add to that a parallel rivalry among the elder generation (Sigourney Weaver vs. Jamie Lee Curtis!), and Betty White as grandma, and the sting of You Again's mediocrity seems all the more unfair.
Don't get me wrong. If you're scheduled to have your wisdom teeth out, this will coast you through the medicated fog just as well as any goofy pap. It's just that when you break out the multi-generational casting guns, you need to—as a great cheerleading movie once said—bring it on.