Netflixs new thriller You Get Me beamed onto our queues asa messy and fun guilty pleasure. But instead the schlocky movie fails to deliver schlocky delights.
You Get Me stars a bevy of generically attractive 20-somethings playing high school kids who doadult things. Halston Sage, Taylor John Smith, and Bella Thorne play Alison, Tyler, and Holly, respectively. YouTube star Anna Akana and Vine-famousNash Grier round out the ensemble.
Alison and Tyler are in love in the way most teenagers are, which is to say theyre in love with the concept of being in love and not the reality. Summer is winding down and a last-hurrah party turns dramatic when Alison and Tyler have a dramatic fight. (Is there any other kind when youre in high school?) Tyler storms off and makes his way into the car and, eventually, the bed of the new girl Holly. As it turns out Holly is unhinged and dangerous.I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you’ve seen this before.
Wouldnt you know it, Alison and Tyler decide theyre going to make things work. This displeases Holly immensely, so she begins methodically integrating herself into Tylers life. She infiltrates his social circle, some of his classes, and his house. If youve seen any thrillers of this ilk, you already know how You Get Me will play out. The fact that the movie is predictable isnt necessarily bad, but the ways in which it is bad are predictable, and thats my biggest gripe. The movie would be more entertaining if Hollys antics went bigger: If youre making a B-movie, take advantage. Have Holly rack up a ridiculous body count. Have Alison and/or Tyler match Hollys mental stateand turn it into a chess game played by psychopaths. Get weird, please. If you want to slum, get dirty.
Pin most of the blame on the writer, Ben Epstein, and director, Brent Bonacorso, for the films dullness. The actors, particularly the lead trio of Thorne, Sage, and Smith, are fine in their roles, theyre just not asked to do much more than be pretty faces. The kids here live in the world of affluent movie teens, meaning theyre free to do whatever they want with almost no supervision. Save for the occasional check-in, the adults are mostly here for occasional appearances and artificial tension. But that freedom is all for naught, as the characters are hemmed in by their phones and school schedules.
As the plot twists and turns, its like driving down a winding road and heeding every warning sign. Dull turns abound! Caution, pregnancy revelation ahead! Third-act violence upcoming!
The film is so focused on the love triangle that there isnt room for a wacky sidekick or a scene-stealer to emerge. For the most part side characters are there to be pawns in Hollys game, but this isnt 12th-dimensional chess. It’s hide and seek in an empty room. That leaves a movie with zero imagination in its characterization and plotting. How much more fun would it have been if Holly were an unrepentant killer? Or if Tyler actually fell in love with Holly? Theres a point where we learn Hollys backstory through a Google search and the headlines are fodder for a much more interesting movie.
Among recent movies similar, The Boy Next Door, Obsessed, The Perfect Guy, When the Bough Breaks, or The Roommate are better examples of what You Get Me wants to do. Make no mistake, theyre all bad movies, but at least their dopiness is amusing. When all is said and done, You Get Me is something youll forget about before the end credits roll.