It is human nature to be greedy. We want everything life has to offer, even though it is not always right for us. Maybe that is why we are so obsessed with the idea of “having it all. We want a successful career, a great family life, and vacations to exotic places. Ambition can be the greatest step on the path to a happy life, but we often forget that it comes with an element of sexism in it. While we understand that the point of the movie “Somebody I Used To Know” was about staying true to yourself, it is often the women who are expected to give up aspects of their life to enable their partner to have ‘everything’. Even though the movie has a seemingly happy ending, it leaves us with a sense of foreboding about what is to come. However, that is a very personal opinion and not a message conveyed by the film. Allow us to explain our point of view through the events of “Somebody I Used to Know.”
Why Does Ally Go To Sean’s Wedding?
Ally is a TV producer whose interview-based show has dropped in its ratings and has been canceled by the network, making her take a trip back home to get some time off. Back in her town, she meets her ex-boyfriend, Sean, and they reconnect over the course of the evening, and at the end of it, Ally ends up kissing him. The next day, she goes to meet him at his house and finds, to her surprise, that he is getting married to a girl named Cassidy. Ally is shocked and feels very stupid about the whole thing. Before she can leave, she is cornered by Sean’s mother, Joanna, who asks her to be the videographer for the wedding. While leaving, Ally tells Sean that she won’t be taking Joanna up on her offer. However, Benny, Ally’s friend, tells her that Sean had gone to the bar after he had seen a picture she had posted from there, which means that he had sought her out. While Benny says this as a consolation, Ally understands it differently. Some of her old feelings for Sean had returned, and she felt like they were reciprocated. Without any clear plan in mind, she decides that she wants to be a part of the wedding.
When she shows up the next day, it is an awkward moment for everyone, but Ally proclaims that she is just there to shoot their wedding. Cassidy seems to catch on to Ally’s feelings when she sees her with the rest of the family. That evening, Cassidy plays a song with her band, which she says is her last performance. She then invites Ally to sing a song for them, which the latter is hesitant to do. It is obvious that Cassidy is setting her up to be embarrassed, but Ally takes up the challenge and turns it around for herself, though with an initial hiccup. Later, when Cassidy and Ally are talking, the former reveals that Sean really wants both their parents to be at the wedding, but Cassidy does not want that, so she lies to him that her parents are not interested in coming, when in reality, she has not told them that she is getting married.
Ally, who is still on a bit of a sabotage spree, goes back home and sends an anonymous email to Cassidy’s parents, inviting them to the wedding. The next day, she leaves with the wedding party for the weekend. While the women are at the spa, Cassidy opens up to her about her conflicted feelings about leaving behind her band. When the duo is taking a walk outside, Ally lies to Cassidy that choosing her work over a home life has been the best decision for her. Both of them are former nudists, and they take a run across the field, reveling in that philosophy of theirs that they seldom let out. Meanwhile, Sean is worried that Cassidy might not be happy about the wedding. They got engaged when they thought that Cassidy was pregnant, but upon discovering that it was not the case, they hadn’t discussed the matter further. Sean was worried that Cassidy might not be happy with the home life he wanted them to have. He tries to talk to her about it but is unable to do so.
As for Ally, getting close to Cassidy is making her realize that she might be making a mistake with Sean. During the rehearsal wedding, Ally plans a series of interviews as part of her video. Sean shows up for one of them, and when they start talking, Ally reveals that Cassidy reminds her of someone she used to know. She means herself when she was younger, and Ally has been feeling that Sean is just trying to recreate what he had with her, by using Cassidy as a replacement. Even Sean is conflicted about whether those are his actual feelings. Here is a man who wants a homebody for a wife but ends up choosing women who want to reach the heights of success in their respective fields. His entire relationship pattern is getting them to give up their dreams for the life of his dreams. Why not just choose a woman who shares his goals instead of choosing partners who want otherwise? We get the feeling that breaking up with him benefited Ally in more ways than one. Cassidy reminds Ally of how free-spirited she used to be, and she also reminds Sean of the relationship he had with Ally. They are all in the search for a person they lost sight of long ago. But this is also the time when Cassidy’s parents enter the scene. Ally already regrets calling them, but when Cassidy sees them, she blames Sean for it and tells him that their relationship is over since things always have to go his way.
‘Somebody I Used To Know’ Ending Explained: Do Sean And Cassidy Get Married?
Back in her room, Ally gets the news that her show has been picked up for a fourth season. Before she can celebrate, Sean comes to meet her. They have a moment after which it becomes obvious that he still doesn’t think much of her ambitions and judges her for wanting to get back to her career. Was she supposed to drop everything for him when he is getting married to another girl in just a few hours? The fight really makes some things clear for Ally, and she goes to meet Cassidy. She confesses the tough reality of her job but tells her to never give up on herself for a guy. It is a true moment of female solidarity where the women get past their differences and learn from each other’s lives and experiences.
The next morning, Ally is still in Cassidy’s room when Sean knocks on the door. Cassidy asks him why he is there, and he apologizes to her. He blames his past experiences for how he behaved with her, and Cassidy tells him that she wants to continue being a part of her band and going on tours even after they get married. Sean agrees to it all. Honestly, good for Cassidy to put her foot down, but we still think that Sean’s excuse was pathetic. We don’t believe he actually changed, but in fact, he is just scared of being left alone now that even Ally has rejected him for her show. Either way, Ally confesses to Cassidy that she was the one to invite her parents. Cassidy lets her know that it is not okay, but she forgives her nonetheless. With everything back in its place, Ally leaves, but not before she and Sean apologize to each other.
Back at home, her mother tells her to never stop believing in herself, and as long as she works for it, others will follow her lead and understand her. She also mentions that Sean was never the right guy for her. We believe he wasn’t right, for Cassidy either, but Ally receives their wedding video when she is on the plane. Now, we know that her smile implies that she is happy for the couple, but had we been in her place, we would have laughed because it was good riddance of a guy like Sean.
“Somebody I Used To Know” ends with Ally still interviewing people and rushing ahead in her career. She sees on social media that Cassidy is pregnant and is touring as she wanted, with Sean by her side. Ally also gets asked out by her longtime crush, and she is definitely on the way to having a better relationship with her mother.
Final Thoughts: What Works For “Somebody I Used To Know” Film?
To be honest, we want to like “Somebody I Used To Know,” but we cannot get over how Sean’s misogyny is glossed over. Yes, we understand that Ally made some questionable decisions, but they were shown as the mistakes they were instead of how everything Sean did was explained away in less than a minute as a product of his past. It wasn’t brought up even once that he chose to not join Ally on her journey and how he repeated the same pattern with every woman he dated: making her change her entire life for him. He was doing that with Ally when he thought his marriage to Cassidy was not going to happen, and the next morning, he was back at his bride’s doorstep. This supposedly sweet movie is like a prequel to the grief that is about to come in Cassidy’s life.
We understand the point that “Somebody I Used to Know” was trying to make, but we believe that it should have done a better job of capturing the nuances of the situation if a love triangle was the setting they were going for. We would have recommended “Somebody I Used To Know” to people if Sean had been written as a better person, but as of now, we feel that the movie missed critical nuances by taking this approach. Hopefully, we will get a better version of it in the future.