Directed and written by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, Home Again stars Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney, a recently separated single mother who embarks on a new romance with a 27-year-old aspiring filmmaker. Also starring are Michael Sheen, Pico Alexander, Nat Wolff and Jon Rudnitsky.
As far as romantic comedies go, Home Again is occasionally funny. There are a few notable quips and humorously awkward moments sprinkled through the film. However, for the most part, the plot follows a well-trodden path established by other feel-good romcoms. There is a plucky female protagonist on the verge of having a mental breakdown. Three characters with dreams of stardom, must choose between fortune or remaining true to themselves. There are contrived love triangles, unconvincing feuds, and even a subplot that pits three characters in a race against time to attend a child’s school play.
In romcoms, resorting to formula doesn’t necessarily mean the film is bad – plenty of good movies follow standard protocol. But although the occasional laughs work for some time, they aren’t strong enough to distract from the fact that large parts of Home Again feel rather bland. The dialogue can be quite clumsy and at times some of the actors seem to either be phoning in their performances or perhaps struggling to work with genuinely uninteresting characters.
Even if the movie feels uninspired, its structure is probably the biggest let-down. Much of the plot elements could be excused if more care and development were given to them. But Home Again never really picks up pace with its own story and many scenes feel unnecessary or half finished. Nothing really feels justified – including the picture’s own premise. For example, Alice is a neurotic single mother who wants a quiet life, yet allows struggling 20-something filmmakers Harry (Alexander), Teddy (Wolff) and George (Rudnitsky), who happen to be strangers, to live with her and her two daughters for very weak reasons. When plotlines wear thin Meyers-Shyer attempts to establish tension with new subplots, but they are so haphazardly introduced, it is hard to care about them and leaves the film to suffer from its own predictability.
As far as lighthearted romcoms go, Home Again isn’t abysmal and has some watchable moments. But it’s far too inconsistent and bound by convention to be anything other than forgettable.
Home Again is released nationwide on 29th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for Home Again here: