Somebody I Used to Know Parent Guide
Cleverly written, this film brilliantly subverts genre expectations. Unfortunately, it is packed full of negative content.
Parent Movie Review
After the latest season of her TV show wraps, overworked producer Ally (Alison Brie) decides on a whim to go back to her hometown to see her mom. While there, she runs into her ex, Sean (Jay Ellis), and feels the old spark rekindling. That is, until she learns that Sean is getting married this weekend. As Ally gets wrapped up in her old friends, her old life, and Sean, she starts to examine the person she’s become and the choice she made to leave a decade ago.
It takes a lot to successfully subvert a genre like a rom-com, or even a romantic drama. Huge deviations from the established formula can feel unearned or desperate but Somebody I Used to Know somehow pulls it off. With a great script, Alison Brie’s amazing performance, and Franco’s deft direction, the story successfully changes the genre into something that feels fresh and modern, without feeling like it’s trying too hard. This is a love story, but not in the way you expect.
Where the story succeeds is in how it sneaks up on you. Ally is a flawed person, and there are many times where you don’t want to root for her. Sean also has flaws that become more and more apparent as the film unfolds. I thought the script was going to force them together in a very toxic, though expected for the genre, way, and was bracing myself for the inevitable. Then the unexpected happened; the writers skirted convention and told a completely different story than the one I thought I was watching, and it was far better than I could have imagined. It takes a lot of skill to catch the viewer off guard part way through the runtime without alienating the audience and the writers pull it off expertly. This film hit me on an emotional level that I did not expect, but it was a welcome catharsis.
That said, this is not a film for families, or for people who are sensitive to swearing, sex, or nudity. There are multiple scenes involving full frontal nudity in a non-sexual context, as well as a couple of sex scenes, though with far less nudity. There’s also a lot of swearing, social drinking, and a scene where characters smoke weed. So, if you are not comfortable with any of those things, heed the R rating and stay far, far away. For me though, I think Franco and Brie have hit on something that Hollywood is sorely missing; a love story about falling in love with yourself.
Directed by Dave Franco. Starring Alison Brie, Jay Ellis, Kiersey Clemons. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release February 10, 2023. Updated February 10, 2023
Somebody I Used to Know
Rating & Content Info
Why is Somebody I Used to Know rated R? Somebody I Used to Know is rated R by the MPAA for sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout and brief drug use.
Violence: There are some friendly punches in a playful manner.
Sexual Content: There is frequent sexual discussions and innuendo. Full frontal nudity is seen in non-sexual contexts, both male and female. In a sexual context, a man’s bare behind is seen as he has sex. A woman makes a crude sexual gesture. There is implied sexual activity between a couple, but entirely under a blanket.
Profanity: The script contains around 35 sexual expletives, 23 mild and moderate profanities, and 25 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen socially drinking in many scenes. Two characters smoke weed together and are visibly high with comedic consequences.
Page last updated February 10, 2023
Somebody I Used to Know Parents' Guide
Why is Ally drawn back to Sean? What does she discover about herself as the weekend goes on?
Related home video titles:
Romantic movies that feature a protagonist’s ex are pretty common. If you lean towards the weepy side, you can try The Notebook, which tells a World War II story of doomed romance. On the comic side, the cult classic The Princess Bride sees a woman agree to marry a prince after she learns that her beloved Westley is dead. When it turns out that he’s very much alive, adventure and mayhem ensue. In a more dramatic vein, Sweet Home Alabama sees a fashion designer return to her home town. She’s engaged to an eligible bachelor, but there’s an old boyfriend in her past…