As a cinematic commodity, there is usually nothing wrong with luxurious escapism. In this post, I will show you the full summary and Home again reviews (2017).
As a cinematic commodity, there is usually nothing wrong with luxurious escapism. But it’s definitely a little tone deaf right now to go to a cream-puffy Hollywood rom-com dream with spoiled rich people.
Consider that at some point in “Home Again,” at least three characters chose to eat cold leftover lasagna directly from the same red Le Creuset skillet. Oh, humankind.
After witnessing hundreds of Houstonians pulled from their now-demolished houses by a horrific flood and their selfless rescuers, I found it difficult to sympathize with Reese Witherspoon‘s Alice, a freshly separated mother of two whom we first meet as she tears in her toilet on her 40th birthday.
Her music-biz spouse (Michael Sheen) in New York City evidently refused to give up the hard-partying lifestyle that such a vocation necessitates. So she and her sitcom-sassy grade-school children have relocated to Los Angeles, where her ex-actress mother (Candice Bergen, the only cast member capable of ringing much zing from her semi-comedic lines) and a ready-made network of bubbly gal pals welcome her homecoming.
Alice doesn’t have a hard time choosing a new place to live because she inherited a vintage spread from her late Oscar-winning director-father, a respected ’70s star, as well as a sporty classic vehicle. (Sorry, I don’t have the gene that quickly recognizes a make and model.
But the sloping roof implies a Porsche.) The one-story hacienda-style home has enough space for not just a built-in pool and a patio large enough to organize group yoga lessons for her friends.
There’s also a spacious cottage where three cash-strapped 20-something filmmaker brothers (Nat Wolff, Jon Rudnitsky, and Pico Alexander, a cocktail name) may stay while waiting for their film contract to go through.
That Alice met these three on a drinking spree while celebrating her 40th birthday at a pub and almost slept with one of them (Alexander, who is cute and knows it) seems like the absolute least she can do. That adds up to one crazy makeshift family.
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Then her estranged spouse gets second thoughts and comes up at her house uninvited. Following this are allegedly entertaining testosterone-induced alpha-male acts.
The avalanche of white privilege that adorns “Home Again” is nearly blinding (I counted three ethnically diverse actors in small speaking roles). If this seems like a junior-league version of “It’s Complicated,” with our heroine relying on her three house visitors as unpaid child-care providers, a tech troubleshooter, and a live-in male toy, that’s because it is.
Eau de Nancy Meyers, the queen of upper-class love relationships amid sumptuous décor porn, is all over this. She is, however, on the sidelines as one of the producers. Instead, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, her 30-year-old rookie writer-director daughter, is behind the project, and the organic fruit didn’t fall far from the artisanal tree.
To be honest, I admit to having a soft spot for most of Meyers’ post-divorce work (which fared less well without her input): “What Women Want,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “The Holiday,” “The Intern”—primo wish-fulfillment chick movies one and all, and each easily re-watchable.
Even if “Home Again” was published during a time when there wasn’t a national crisis impacting a huge percentage of the country, it would still look odd. Meyers-Shyer stated that she intended to represent the reality that women are being divorced at a younger age these days, as well as put a gender spin on a May-December relationship.
That’s understandable. But once Alice gathers the resolve to address her obstacles, they aren’t all that relatable or even that much of a problem. Her nice ex-husband wants her back. Her easygoing youthful sex partner is immature. Lake Bell’s first customer in her new job as a designer is an archetypal self-centered nightmare, a position that completely squanders her abilities.
Speaking of which, following her award-winning performances in “Wild” and “Big Little Lies,” Witherspoon takes at least two steps back as Alice. She is far too talented an actor to play a pushover prone to anxiety episodes and being taken advantage of by others. There’s a problem when her quick impression of Bell’s growling Labradoodle is her funniest part.
According to Meyers-Shyer, the most incredible portion of the film—that Alice would let three strangers live with her and her young daughters—actually occurred to a lady she knew. Fine. But it was her duty to make it credible in her film rather than merely a story device. Yes, the casual-chic interior designs sparkle just as brightly as her mothers did. But “Home Again” never made me feel at ease.