With all of our visitors and our move back to California, I've not seen a movie in over a month. I usually get itchy if I don't see a movie once a week, so over a month was positively soul crushing. This morning, I decided that enough was enough and I took myself to our local cinema.
The Village Theater is small and only had two choices. I really want to see It, but I'm alone in our house for the next week while Dan is away on a business trip, and not only that, but our neighborhood is nearly all rentals, so it's empty around here on week days. My imagination is already overactive and I don't need to add to it with It. My other choice was the latest Reese Witherspoon film, Home Again.
PLOT - Alice Kinney ( Reese Witherspoon) is separated from her husband Austen (Michael Sheen) and has moved back to Los Angeles with her two daughters. On her fortieth birthday, she goes out to dinner with friends and ends up meeting Harry, a handsome younger man (Pico Alexander). Harry and his two friends spend the night partying with Alice's group and they wind up back at Alice's house.
The next morning, Alice's mom (Candice Bergen) stops by with Alice's daughters and sees the remnants of the party, including the younger men. The men quickly realize that Alice's father was a famous movie director and that her mother was an actress in his films. The men are trying to break into show business and they are blown away to be in the presence of such greatness. Alice's mom is flattered by their attention and convinces Alice to be a patron of the arts by letting them live in her guest house. Alice agrees, but is unsure about her feelings towards Harry and about letting the trio in her messy life. Will the arrangement lead to disaster or can taking a leap of faith change everyone's lives?
LIKE- Home Again made me laugh and left me with the warm fuzzies. It's a sweet story about opening up your heart to possibilities. I was surprised to discover that it wasn't completely predictable, especially in the way that Alice's relationship evolves with the men.
Alice is a wonderful character. What's more, she's relatable. At the start of the film, she's a mess. She is trying to jump start a new business and she feels very conflicted towards her ex-husband, with whom she has not made the leap to filing for divorce. Throughout the film, she slowly grows stronger and more self-assured. These three young men all play a role in getting her back on her feet. I liked that all of the men were flawed, but that they were essentially good people. As Alice mentions multiple times, they are only in their twenties and they are allowed the room to make mistakes. Growing from mistakes and experiences is a central theme of Home Again.
I'm a huge fan of Michael Sheen and he is a scene stealer in Home Again. When Austen decides to show up at Alice's house because he is concerned about the three men who are spending time around his daughters, it leads to some great comedic and tension-filled moments.
The entire cast really shines, individually and as an ensemble. Particularly well-casted are the two actresses that play Alice and Austen's daughters, Isabel (Lola Flannery) and Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield). No doubt these two girls will go on to bigger careers.
DISLIKE- It's a tad sappy. I like sappy movies. Sometimes they are exactly what you need.
RECOMMEND- Yes. Home Again is a feel good movie. I'm not sure that it needs to be seen on the big screen, but it will definitely be a film that gets tons of repeat airtime on cable networks. It a film I could easily rewatch many times.