There’s not much that You Get Me actually “gets” other than a few unintentional, campy laughs.
As for me, this movie helped me “get” something: Bella Thorne’s acting career. Thorne, known recently for her off-screen antics, has no problem playing a teenager. As long as she’s asked to fulfil the bare minimum of a young role (The DUFF, Tyler Perry’s BOO! A Madea Halloween), she comes through. The actor, however, struggles tremendously with a meatier “teenager with a twist” – a young adult with an addiction, a secret, a transformation, or all of the above.
In Netflix’s You Get Me, Bella Thorne plays Holly Viola, a high schooler with stalker tendencies and a harmful past. There are scenes in You Get Me where Thorne has to portray heartbroken confusion and anger after being shunned by her one-night-stand-turn-crush Tyler (Taylor John Smith). We can see her internal monologue happening on screen, but she’s trying too hard to communicate it; resulting in an unbroken, rattled stare that’s comparative to watching your overheating laptop turn itself to sleep. This is a shame considering You Get Me offers Bella Thorne a soft breakout into more adult material – a squandered opportunity indeed.
In her defence, You Get Me is an embarrassing and incompetent thriller that gives Thorne (and her co-stars) nothing to work with and makes everyone appear unprofessional. It’s also an unfortunate first-time feature effort from screenwriter Ben Epstein and director Brent Bonacorso. Just like a bad meal, I’m sending it back – You Get Me is hardly releasable. If this finished film – with its sloppy continuity errors, awkward music cues, lifeless narration, slut-shaming story, and sleazy eroticism – is an example of what this duo wants to achieve, they either need to “get” the generous chance for a do-over, or “get” sent tuition for the nearest film school.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie