Home Again: One Big Barrel of Rom-Com Cliches
- Michael SheenNat Wolff...
- Hallie Meyers-Shyer
- In 1 Cinema
The creative gene-pool of one Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of screenwriter-director and celebrated rom-com queen Nancy Meyers and writer-director Charles Shyer, tends to bring a whole load of expectations along with it. Unfortunately, Meyers-Shyer’s directorial debut, a romantic-comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, doesn’t really meet any of them; void of dramatic purpose and filled with one too many rom-com cliches, Home Again fails to offer anything new to the genre, rehashing on what’s already been done and seen before in a way that is most uninspiring and uninteresting.
Meet Alice Kinney (Witherspoon); an about-to-turn-forty single mom who recently got separated from her husband, Austen (Sheen) and has decided to move from New York to L.A with daughters Isabel (Flanery) and Rosie (Redfield), in order to kick-start a new as an interior designer. Living in a lavish estate she inherited from her late father, Alice’s life is soon to be turned upside down when, after a night of partying in a bar celebrating her big birthday, she meets Harry (Alexander); a handsome 27 year-old aspiring filmmaker who is hoping to make it big in Hollywood along with his actor-brother, Teddy (Wolff) and their screenwriting buddy, George (Rudnitsky).
After a failed one-night stand, the two decide to keep things strictly platonic. However, it’s clear that Harry is interested in a lot more and their relationship is soon tested when Alice’s mother suggests that the three young men – who have in the meantime landed a meeting with a famous producer – move in with her daughter in order to save on rent. Thing of course get even more complicated when her ex-husband soon decides to drop for an unannounced visit.
One of the most surprising things about this rom-com is how lazy and uninventive its final onscreen realisation came to be. With very little going for it in terms of depth, the story is flat with the young director almost afraid to ruffle up the feathers of its picturesque premise and pristine setting. From Alice’s immaculately-kept home, which she not only shares with two young children but three young men as well, to the always-ready freshly-baked muffin display, and not to mention the sanitised sex scenes, it’s all a little sterile and too silly.
Which brings us to Ms. Witherspoon herself; charming and, as-always, impossible to resist, the Oscar-winning actress – who recently got nominated for an Emmy for her role in the HBO’s drama Big Little Lies – is known for winning over her audiences. But despite her best efforts, is unable to keep this boat of unfortunate clichés from sinking.