By: Jessica Goddard
Home Again is for Hollywood, by Hollywood, about Hollywood. If you can deal with that, you might enjoy this safe and well-meaning romantic comedy. Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s Home Again (a title which never ends up making any sense) is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s often endearing in a snort-and-smile kind of way.
Alice (Reese Witherspoon) is newly separated and turning 40. She doesn’t have much of a career, but she doesn’t need one, being the only daughter of a legendary Hollywood director who died a while ago and left her the mansion in Los Angeles. One drunk night, Alice bumps into gorgeous, charming, 27-year-old Harry (Pico Alexander) and his friends at a bar. She ends up bringing the three of them back to her place, where they end up staying for weeks since they’re in need of somewhere to crash. Alice and Harry’s relationship doesn’t stay platonic for long since – and I really can’t stress this enough – Harry is outrageously good-looking and destined to live in a romantic comedy. Their sexual tension predictably creates complications, since Alice has two young kids and a clingy ex-husband (Michael Sheen).
Home Again is one cliché after another; from the middle-aged woman crying in front of her bathroom mirror to a last minute race to attend a kid’s school play. But, miraculously, the cast here is so charismatic, you’ll find a way not to care about these familiarities. Witherspoon’s performance is effortless and sincere, as one might expect when considering her filmography. There is appropriate chemistry between the twentysomething lads whose friendship is believable, even if nothing else about their characters is.
Yes, Home Again is cheesy, but it earns points for putting a spin on the rom-com genre with an initially intriguing premise, even though you know it would never actually happen (and if it did, it wouldn’t happen to you). If you’re watching this for the eye candy and to see the somehow-relatable Reese Witherspoon playing “old”, Home Again will do its job. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, there are a few laughs, and the energy level is good. In the comfort of its genre, this movie is right at home.
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Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod