REVIEW: Home Again

Rating Stars 3
Running Time: 2 hours
Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer

The main draw of Home Again? Undoubtedly Reece Witherspoon. Queen of the rom-com, the movie is marketed with Witherspoon’s image against a bright red backdrop- your mind springs to Bridget Jones, the title ‘Home Again’ makes you expect Sweet Home Alabama.

Despite this, Home Again isn’t your typical rom-com. In fact, Witherspoon has come back maturer, and made a grown up romantic drama. (Perhaps explaining the marketing decision of bright red rather than the go to chick flick hot pink?)
Thats not to say that this film is dry of humour. In fact there are plenty of laugh out loud moments, and Reece Witherspoon is as comedic and endearing as always.

The premise of the movie is simple. Three young aspiring filmmakers find themselves looking for a place to stay in LA, and fortune lands them at the feet of Alice Kenny, daughter of a late, great, Oscar winning director- who is attempting to find closure after the breakdown of her marriage.

The guys, played by Nat Wolff, Pico Alexander and Jon Rudnitsky are extremely likeable, and despite all falling slightly in love with Alice, the movie focuses on her own journey to independence, rather than involving itself too much in these romantic tangles. The arrival of Austin, Alice’s estranged husband played by Martin Sheen, only goes to prove this. Alice has learnt to put herself and her kids first. She doesn’t need the men in her life to be whole.

The film is relatable on a level- a single Mum coping with her kids alone, an absent Husband, three young guys trying to make a career for themselves- in here is a character anyone can see a bit of themselves in. However, the film is set in the glamour of LA- the main character the daughter of two Hollywood icons, and even the struggling film makers are being hooked up with studio executives and famous producers from almost the minute they set foot in LA. This is all far from relatable, but at no point did this make me less sympathetic for the main players- a tell tale sign of well written characters.

The message driving the story is not what I expected from the film going into it- but it works well. Instead of ending up another throw away love story, we see friendships form on a deeper, heartwarming level. After countless chick flicks telling us the opposite; Home Again dares to venture that maybe men and women can be friends after all.

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