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Film / Somebody I Used to Know

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"It's like you build your whole life around this one thing, and then what if it was the wrong thing?"

Somebody I Used To Know is an American Romantic Comedy-drama written by Dave Franco and Alison Brie, directed by Franco, and starring Brie.

Workaholic TV producer Ally Brenner (Brie) visits her picturesque hometown of Leavenworth, Washington after her reality show, Dessert Island, is cancelled by the network. While there, she reconnects with her ex-boyfriend, Sean (Jay Ellis), and the encounter makes her question if she really made the right choice leaving all those years ago. However, she promptly learns that he is getting married to Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons) that very weekend. Intrigued by Cassidy, her mysterious past, and short relationship with Sean, Ally agrees to film the wedding in hopes of learning more about the couple, but realizes that Cassidy reminds her of herself.

The supporting cast includes Julie Hagerty as Ally's mother Libby, Olga Merediz, Ted Rooney, and Haley Joel Osment as Sean's mother Jojo, father Barry, and brother Jeremy, and Danny Pudi as Sean and Ally's mutual friend Benny.

The film was released on Prime Video on February 10, 2023.


  • An Aesop: Always be true to yourself.
    • It's okay to prioritize work, but it's also good to have some fun, especially when you feel that your life is a failure.
    • If the woman of your life wants to settle down with you and keep on doing what they love the most, respect their wishes.
  • Babies Ever After: The finale shows Sean is happily married to Cassidy, who's pregnant with their baby.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Ally's assistant Kayla is on the receiving end of the high-strung Ally's demands and has to handle the streaming service pitch on her own because Ally is distracted by the wedding. Kayla is rewarded by getting the reins of Dessert Island's fourth season. In addition, Ally is notably kinder to her assistants on her next show.
  • Betty and Veronica: The unhappy workaholic Ally is the Veronica and the free-spirited Cassidy is the Betty. Although, with the two coming from different worlds and how long they have known Sean, that would make Ally a Betty and Cassidy a Veronica.
  • Bookends: The film begins and ends with Ally saying to herself "you got this" before filming the last episode of her (briefly) cancelled show Dessert Island and the first episode of her very own show that it's about nudism. Ally and Christian ask each other out on a date the same day shortly after they're done. However, their answers are "no" because they already have plans (Christian going to the bar with his fellow crewmates and Ally visiting her mother). The difference is that Ally tells him to go for it when her show is cancelled, while, at the end, after undergoing Character Development, Ally offers to reschedule their date for next weekend, to which Christian agrees. They both triumphantly walk out yelling "I'm gonna puke tonight!/next weekend!", with at least one person near them (one of Christian's crewmates and a nearby female nudist guest) cheering them on it.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She can barely hide it, but Cassidy is deservedly justified being uncomfortable with Ally's last-minute presence to the wedding, especially suspecting her ulterior motives that brought her there in the first place, but she still makes efforts in tolerating her for Sean's sake.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Cyrina, a band mate and friend of Cassidy's, has very short hair that's dyed pale blue as part of her pretty butch style.
  • Brick Joke: Ally's agent pitches a Dessert Island spinoff called Dess-Hurt Locker, where a host tries desserts in the desert with a war bent. A Parody Commercial for it shows up at the very end of the film. She also turns down Ally's idea for the spin-off to be about nudism. Again, Ally is seen producing her own show just about that topic.
  • But Not Too Bi: It's revealed Cassidy's bisexual and has dated women in the past, but isn't shown as attracted to any presently as she's now marrying Sean.
  • Career vs. Man: Cassidy is upset that she has to break up her band because Sean wants them to settle in Leavenworth. Ally admits that she had also felt repressed by Sean's life plan and broke up with him to pursue her career. In the end she encourages Cassidy to fight to keep her band while being married to Sean. Six months later, she sees an Instagram post that shows Cassidy is both pregnant and still touring.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Character Tics: Ally tells herself "you got this" in a mirror to psych herself up for something twice. In the third and final time, she sings a ditty to psych herself up, representing how she's slowly finding her creative spark again.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: When Ally finds out from Benny that Sean actually sought her out at the bar in town after seeing a picture of her on Instagram, she is believes that Sean still has feelings for her and he has second thoughts about marrying Cassidy, which gives her a reason to try and separate them after she's invited to film the wedding and unhesitatingly takes the offer to do just that.
  • Fan Disservice: Ally's nudism series features many older people who aren't attractive conventially.
  • Fatal Flaw: Sean's flaw in this case is abandonment issues. He's adopted and never met his biological parents, which is why he insists a lot that Cassidy invite her parents over to the wedding, despite the fact that she doesn't want them around as she hates them for their past homophobia towards her. Then, when it comes to Ally and Cassidy, they clash with Sean's life plan on family as he just expects them to give up on their specific vocations, which greatly affects his relationships with them. Ally breaks up with Sean, prior to the events of the film, to move to L.A. and start her dream job as a TV producer, while Cassidy, who has been together with Sean for six months, has conflicted feelings about disbanding her band for his sake. So, because of these women's demanding careers, Sean is afraid that they will not live up to his expectations and eventually leave him all by himself.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Upon meeting Sean, Cassidy's biphobic parents say that they're glad he's male because some lesbians have 'butch' names like Sean — they couldn't tell from the wedding invite.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Ally and Cassidy see each other as a threat to their respective happiness with Sean. Cassidy qualifies the most, as she's fully aware that Ally is Sean's ex and can't stand the idea of having her at the wedding. Cassidy's suspicions about Ally prove to be absolutely correct when she finds out that she was the one who invited her parents to the wedding. But they still part on good terms.
  • Hairy Girl: Cassidy is described as a hippie by Ally (she's actually a punk musician) and doesn't shave her armpits, which is shown when they're in the steam room together.
  • Happily Adopted: Sean was adopted by Barry and Jojo, and though he loves them (to the point of building his home on the same lot as theirs), not knowing his birth parents is still a touchy subject and he can't understand why Cassidy wouldn't want her family at their wedding.
  • Hates Their Parent: Cassidy is estranged from her parents and is upset when they turn up at the wedding as they're quite opposed to her being bisexual.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: It turns out that Cassidy is estranged from her parents (not wanting them at her wedding even) as they're homophobic, describing her marrying a man as being "a step in the right direction" for her, and she says they strongly opposed Cassidy's relationships with women before.
  • Hypocrite: Sean has an argument with Ally over her briefly cancelled show getting picked up by another network, in which he accuses her of coming to Leavenworth just to ruin his life again by toying with his feelings when Sean himself did exactly just that by not only intentionally meeting Ally at the bar but also making her believe they had a second shot as a couple while concealing his engagement with Cassidy.
  • Karma Houdini: Sean ultimately faces no repercussions for briefly cheating on Cassidy with Ally and never called out by anyone over his selfish behaviour, marrying Cassidy as if nothing happened.
  • Last Girl Wins: The outcome of the Sean-Ally-Cassidy Love Triangle, with Cassidy as the winner as she still marries Sean in spite of their huge argument the night before.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Aside from Benny, Sean's family and friends, not even Cassidy, ever find out about his cheating with Ally prior to introducing them to each other.
  • Love Triangle: Ally returns home and reconnects to her ex-boyfriend Sean, but learns he's engaged to Cassidy. She's convinced he still has feelings for her though, and wants Sean back. Ally eventually realizes that this is wrong, and Sean marries Cassidy with them being happy together.
  • Maybe Ever After: The film ends with Ally accepting an invitation from Christian the cameraman to go out on a date.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Christian gets invited by his crewmates to drink at the bar, he yells with excitement "I'm gonna puke tonight!". Later, at the end of the film, a more confident Ally repeats exactly the same words, except that she changes "tonight" with "next weekend".
  • Melodramatic Pause: Invoked. Reality TV showrunner Ally tells Sean that while interviewing subjects for features and Confessionals, she'll sometimes pause for ten seconds and watch them scramble to fill the space, resulting in emotional and dramatic moments. Sean considers it manipulative, but Ally considers it giving people the space to talk about their feelings.
  • The Missus and the Ex: It's all rather awkward when Ally reconnects with her ex, only to meet his fiancee the next day. The two women start off trying to undermine each other, but later genuinely connect.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ally and Cassidy both show a lot of skin during the film, whether in swimsuits, pretty revealing clothes or streaking once, while both are very good-looking. Ally wears a shirt without any bra at the end and goes nude while she films her nudism series.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ally might be subtly trying to sabotage Sean and Cassidy's wedding, but even she's horrified when she invites Cassidy's parents to the wedding against her wishes and witnesses their resulting blowout. She even tells Benny she's "done".
  • Naked People Are Funny: High on weed, Cassidy brings up Ally's nudist tendencies and the two streak through the golf course. Humor is mined from it when Sean's young nephew Brad starts chasing after them.
  • The One Who Made It Out: Ally's friends and acquaintances from her small hometown are all very proud of her for getting a Hollywood job. She's embarrassed that the show she worked on is cancelled.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Ally, on coming home, finds her mom Libby is having sex with her boyfriend in her room (who'd been one of Ally's teachers), which makes her retreat in dismay quickly. Later she walks in on them again, this time while on the couch.
  • Pool Scene: Most of the cast members swim in a stream, which serves to show Cassidy and Ally in revealing swimsuits.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Reality TV producer and aspiring documentarian Ally's childhood bedroom is decorated with posters of documentaries (e.g. American Movie) and films about documentaries (e.g. Reality Bites).
  • Pregnancy Scare: Cassidy relates that she and Sean got engaged partly because they thought she'd gotten pregnant, though it turned out not to be the case, but they never talked about it later.
  • Primal Scene: Ally arrives at her childhood home and wanders around trying to find her mother...only to walk in on her having sex with Ally's third-grade teacher. It happens again near the end.
  • Prone to Tears: Kayla, Ally's assistant, when she gives a successful pitching presentation on her own, and also when Ally announces that she gets to take over Dessert Island.
  • Properly Paranoid: Cassidy had every valid reason to not want Ally at her wedding, as she suspects that she has ulterior motives to attend beyond just agreeing to film it. The fact that Ally nearly ruined the event by inviting and Cassidy's parents and was initially willing to throw Sean under the bus for it definitely proves her point.
  • Queer Establishing Moment: Cassidy casually mentions while talking with Ally that she's dated women in the past, before she'd gotten engaged to Sean.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Shortly after Cassidy calls off the wedding, Sean tears into Ally for her manipulative nature, especially when she tells him that her cancelled show is getting picked up by another network. This infuriates Sean enough when realizing that Ally is considering it, so he accuses her of coming back to her hometown just to "fuck up" his whole life and abandon him once again.
    Sean: You know what? Go back to your sad pathetic little game show, where you manipulate people into saying and doing exactly what you want from them! [Ally scoffs] Yeah, because that's your whole life. None of it's real. But it's fucking real people you're hurting.
  • Screaming Plane Baby: Ally can only be resigned when a mom with a crying baby sits next to her on the plane. She passive-aggressively asks to get some sleep. However, she is later shown up when her cat makes a mess and she has to clean it up.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Modern variation. Sean and Cassidy got engaged because she had a Pregnancy Scare, and continued with the plan after she found out she wasn't pregnant. The impulsiveness of the decision is weighing on her. Still, they end up happily married.
  • Start My Own: Kayla takes the reins of Ally's duties as the showrunner of Dessert Island, allowing Ally to produce her own show that is about nudism.
  • Streaking: Ally and Cassidy impulsively run nude over a golf course Sean is playing on.
  • Title Drop: Ally interviews Sean for the wedding video and tells the movie's title by subtly telling Sean that his bride reminds her of her younger self.
    Ally: She reminds of somebody I used to know.
  • Unusual Pop Culture Name: Movie buff Jeremy named his son Bradley Pitt. He jokes that his daughter is named Jennifer Aniston.
  • Uncancelled: In-Universe. Ally's show Dessert Island is cancelled by the network, but then a streaming service picks it up for a fourth season.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ally gets this twice.
    • Benny calls her out for agreeing to film Sean and Cassidy's wedding so she could have an excuse to get back together with him.
    • Just as she successfully gets them to understand each other better, Cassidy becomes angry at Ally when she admits to being the one who invited her parents to the wedding. She was angrier over Ally almost ruining the event because of this (as she initially thought it was Sean) more than the deed itself.
  • Workaholic: Ally tells Sean that working constantly on television is fun and it was always the goal.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Ally eventually realizes that she joins her ex's wedding party because she dislikes the person she became. Her mother tells her that her pure passion has always gotten her places, and she just has to find that spark again.
    • Ally also encourages Cassidy to to keep her band together and not give up on it because of Sean, who is clearly a reminder of why Ally left him in the first place and both Ally and Sean feared she might end up doing the same thing to him. In the end, after they get married, Cassidy manages to settle down with Sean and tour with her band at the same time.