Ah, the beach.
The beach is a beautiful and fun place and the perfect location to celebrate a spring or summer break. But beware of getting carried away with your youthful revelries because it can lead to complications that will follow you into the fall. And those complications can be deadly….
Okay, sorry for all the drama. I’m just trying to make myself feel some sort of enthusiasm for reviewing the 2017 Netflix film, You Get Me. You Get Me is technically not a spring break movie but it does take place on the beach and it does feature a moderate amount of drinking, drug-taking, and partying so, it’s close enough. It also features a cast of 20-something actors cast as high school students. Some are more believable than others.
Basically, dumb and dull teenager Tyler (Taylor John Smith) is having the best summer of his life because he has a girlfriend named Ali (Halston Sage), who he is totally in love with. (Ali could probably do better but whatever. Everyone makes mistakes in high school.) Tyler is also frustrated because Ali wants to wait before having sex with him and she also doesn’t understand why Tyler has been so hesitant to introduce her to his dysfunctional family. When Tyler goes to a party and runs into a guy from Ali’s past, he learns that Ali used to be much wilder. Angry that Ali hasn’t been honest with him, big dumb Tyler gets drunk and runs off with Holly (Bella Throne), a girl who he has only known for an hour. They go dancing. Holly offers Tyler a pill. Tyler isn’t sure he’s ready for that. “You swallow, I swallow,” Holly tells him. Tyler and Holly spend a passionate weekend together but, afterwards, Tyler and Ali get back together, with Ali promising that she’ll tell Tyler everything about her past. “No more secrets,” Tyler agrees, despite the fact that he’s now keeping a secret of his own.
Fortunately, Holly was only visiting for the summer and it’s not like Tyler will ever see her again so …. OH MY GOODNESS, LOOK WHO JUST SHOWED UP AT TYLER’S HIGH SCHOOL! Holly now goes to the same school as Tyler and her new best friend is Ali! Tyler asks Holly not to tell Ali anything about their weekend together. Holly, however, has stopped taking her meds (seriously, that’s a plot point) and has decided that if she can’t have Tyler, no one will. Soon, Holly is claiming to be pregnant and serving peanut-laced smoothies to people with food allergies. Have you ever noticed how people in movies like this always have a best friend who suffers from a food allergy?
I’m probably making You Get Me sound more fun than it actually is. It’s actually an extremely bland movie and a surprisingly tame one. At her best, Bella Thorne is less an actress and more an agent of chaos. She gets a few opportunities to be enjoyably evil in You Get Me but the script, for whatever reason, often seems to be more concerned with boring old Tyler. Perhaps if Taylor John Smith and Halston Sage had at least a little bit of romantic chemistry, we would care about what happens to Tyler and Ali but they don’t. Since they don’t really seem to be that into each other, it’s a little bit hard to get upset when Holly comes between them.
The beach, I will say, looked lovely. And I really liked Holly’s house. And, as I mentioned earlier, there were a few moments when Bella Thorne’s demented performance brought some life to the anemic proceedings. But, for the most part, You Get Me is forgettable. It did not get me.