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Somebody I Used to Know

Content Caution

Somebody I Used To Know 2023 movie


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Emily Tsiao

Movie Review

Things aren’t going quite as Ally planned.

When she moved to L.A. 10 years ago, she had aspirations of becoming a famous documentary filmmaker. Instead, she wound up show-running a failing reality TV program.

Searching for direction, Ally heads home to Leavenworth, Washington. There, she runs into somebody she used to know—her old boyfriend, Sean, to be exact.

Sean’s life is going exactly as he planned. He took over the family business, built his dream house and even got engaged to his dream girl, Cassidy.

Ally is convinced that Sean isn’t as happy as he’s letting on (and she’s not entirely wrong). And Ally’s determined to see if there’s still a spark between her and her old beau.

Only problem is, Ally is drawn to Cassidy. The younger woman reminds her of someone else she used to know. And Ally’s not sure she can betray that woman, or herself for that matter, over a guy.

Positive Elements

There are themes of forgiveness and self-worth sprinkled throughout the film. We also see some demonstrations of supportive familial love. A couple learns to work through their differences. Friends of the bride and groom-to-be stand behind the couple despite attempts to thwart the relationship. And people generally realize their wrongdoing and apologize for it.

Spiritual Elements

There is a reference to Mormons.

Sexual Content

Ally walks in on her mother having sex twice (we see movements in both scenes and a man’s bare rear in one). A couple makes out heavily and talks about having sex but stops short of removing clothing. Ally propositions at least two men for sex (but both decline).

People talk crudely about sex and male and female anatomy. Graphic sexual gestures are made at times. Several people mistakenly think Ally’s reality competition show is about sex, not baking, because of the contestants’ lewd behavior. A man makes a joke about a pornographic website.

We see a picture of a man’s genitals on Ally’s phone. Two women streak naked through a golf course (and we see everything). A young boy witnesses this and chases after them despite his father’s efforts to stop him. (This same boy continues to ogle one of the women for the rest of the film.) We see at least a dozen other people with no clothes at a nudist colony. Ally and Cassidy swap stories about nudity.

Several women wear revealing outfits. (Ally asks if her dress is “too booby” at one point.) We see male and female characters in swimsuits. A picture shows a topless couple in bed from the shoulders up. Ally watches a video of herself singing in nothing but a pair of overalls. We see several women in towels in a sauna (and when a woman lies down, some of her frame is exposed).

Several couples kiss (including a same-sex couple). Cassidy talks about past relationships with women and her parents’ disapproval of these paramours. A man brags about making out with a woman when they were in middle school.

Ally kisses Sean after he neglects to tell her he is engaged. When she learns the truth, she tries to stop his wedding from happening. Later on, Sean defends himself to his friend, but it’s clear he is considering calling the wedding off, and that theme carries throughout the film.

Ally manipulates an interview subject into talking about a painful divorce. [Spoiler Warning] We learn Cassidy and Sean got engaged so quickly because they thought she was pregnant; she wasn’t, but they decided to wed regardless.

Violent Content

A man gets punched in the crotch three times in a row. We see scenes from a reality show that involve hiding firecrackers in desserts. Sean says he removed a bloodstain from a bar where a guy cut off his finger accidentally. Someone jokes about burying a body.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is heard at least 45 times (sometimes in song lyrics and sometimes written out). We hear the s-word 20 times, as well as uses of “a–hole,” “b–ch,” “c–k,” “d–n,” “d–k,” “h—” and “p-ss.” God’s name is abused 13 times, and Christ’s name is abused five times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink heavily throughout the film at nearly every event. Some characters get excited by the thought of puking from imbibing. There is more than one reference to blacking out from getting drunk. Ally and Cassidy vape marijuana together.

Other Negative Elements

Sean and Cassidy argue about her poor relationship with her parents. Sean admits he has abandonment issues from never meeting his birth parents. And Ally goes behind both of their backs to invite Cassidy’s parents, hoping that the chaos will cause the couple to split.

Ally’s cat gets sick on a plane, and people talk about the foul smell. When she tries to take the cat to the bathroom to clean it, turbulence causes her to trip, spilling vomit and fecal matter on her seatmate. A man vomits after eating too much cheese.

People lie and manipulate. And selfish actions lead to several heartbreaking moments. Characters can sometimes be rude to each other. Two people steal lighting from a local business as a joke. Some people inadvertently insult Ally’s TV show. Two women repeatedly try to show each other up.


I’m gonna be brutally honest here: I have nothing nice to say about Somebody I Used to Know.

Content-wise the film is plagued by excessive language, gratuitous nudity and foul jokes. There’s an LGBT undertone and messages of infidelity that are never countered strongly enough.

But the storyline and characters are terrible too.

Sean and Ally are the worst. Ally literally spends three-fourths of the movie trying to win back her ex from 10 years prior on the weekend of his wedding. Why? Not because she loves him, but because she feels bad for herself. And Sean’s behavior is even less excusable.

Rather than talk to his fiancée about the doubts he’s having, he essentially leads Ally on—treating her as backup plan, so to speak. And Cassidy isn’t dumb. She knows what’s going on between Sean and Ally. (And for her part, she bears a lot of that with grace.) But when she eventually breaks things off with Sean after a big fight, Sean immediately goes to Ally for comfort. Then, when Ally realizes that she can’t go through with it, he pitches a fit, angry that these women aren’t giving him exactly what he wants.

Eventually, Sean apologizes and reconciles with Cassidy. Still, even that scene feels trite and forced. And the ending of this film left me feeling dissatisfied and angry, which is likely what audiences will feel too if they choose to stream it.

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.