NETFLIX (2017)

 

Director: Brent Bonacorso

 

Starring: Bella Thorne, Halston Sage, Taylor John Smith, Anna Akana, Nash Grier

“Love makes you do strange things”

 

…like accepting the fact you can’t watch the football in peace.

 

Or hunting down your one night stand to systematically infiltrate his life and torment him at every turn. Wait, what? That’s the crux of the story of You Get Me. Teens date, they break up, man teen passionately ruts different lady teen, original lady teen gets back together with male teen, different lady teen goes psycho.

 

Teens, eh?

Tyler (Smith) is living the dream. He’s a chiseled hunk, has a close stable of friends and is going out with his equally-attractive opposite, Ali (Sage). Together, they go to farmers’ markets, take dreamy afternoon walks on the beach and revel in each other’s beautiful company. Through the teenage dream, Ali is saving herself for the future, wanting to make it a special occasion with Tyler and for reasons later explained. What else do teens like? PARTIES! With their cohorts Gil (Grier) and Lydia (Akana) in tow, they head to the latest drug-fuelled, hormonally drenched shindig. However, Tyler’s bubble is burst as an old acquaintance of Ali’s, Chase (Rhys Wakefield), shows up and antagonises Tyler about her hoover-esque abilities. That’s it, confronting Ali leads to the couple breaking up - #omg.

 

Slinking outside, Tyler meets Holly (Thorne, also just as attractive as everyone else), jumps into her Maserati and heads off to her mysterious, opulent dwellings for a weekend of passionate loving and sharing life stories. When he leaves, he immediately gets back together with Ali and gets on with his life. Finding out that Holly now goes to their school throws a spanner into the works, add to that she is now in with Ali and their circle of friends, plus the fact that she has no intention of letting Tyler out of her grip and he realises he’s in a spot of bother which needs resolving. Fast.

 

Firstly, I still the love the production company name – AWESOMENESS FILMS!

 

Secondly, You Get Me is not a great movie, let’s get that clear, however is it entertaining, watchable and not utterly terrible. It’s Fatal Attraction for the iAge. It’s an unnecessary fresh take on the likes of When the Bough Breaks. What it also gifts is another throwback to the young adult thrillers that seemed to die out in the 90s. A predictable movie that is missing a few vital elements that would elevate it, elements that are actually in the movie or seemingly hinted at before the director took a safer path. The writing actually makes Tyler out to be the victim, even though he’s been messing about with two girls?! One being his perfect girlfriend! Filthy git.

 

‘Dark’ doesn’t always mean great, however had the movie run with the fact that Tyler was lusting back for Holly that would’ve added another layer, similarly, had Holly been a shameless murderer then things could’ve gone up a notch. ALSO, keeping the pregnancy angle would have only served to add tension. PLUS, had Bonacorso gone for the bold ending I had at first thought he had, that also would have only benefitted the movie. As with many Netflix movies (except Okja), there are just a few key ingredients missing that would elevate the movie to another level. There is a fine movie bubbling away under the surface of the final product.

 

The three young leads aren’t given an awful lot to do really, the writing sadly lets them down, and they’re left to do the best they can with what they have and look pretty doing it. Thorne is convincing as the scheming seductress whilst (young Swayze lookalike) Smith and Sage have nice chemistry. With stronger writing, they would have had better opportunities to flex their acting chops, though as it is none of them are awful.

 

You Get Me is a well-presented movie with some great shots and locations. Holly’s lair, sorry - house, is lavish, hyper-contemporary and squeaky clean but one that I would instantly buy. The exterior shots highlight the mountain and forest ranges and it all looks naturally beautiful. DoP Magdalena Górka obviously spent a lot of time ensuring the swimming pools were lit just right, golden water for Ali’s and sinister red for Holly’s. Sound-wise, the movie pulses with fairly generic electronic beats that complement the movie, but probably not your iPod.

 

As mentioned, the movie suffers from a predictable narrative and stiflingly safe writing. A few amendments would really have benefitted this movie and made for a more enthralling, enticing noir movie. It’s certainly stylish, it’s sexy but it lacks the necessary threat that a thriller of this type requires. Alas, You Get Me is a forgettably entertaining flick that worked for a cold September evening, but that’s about it.

 

Don’t two time. It’s bad.

September 18th 2017

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

follow us
contact us
hear us