Arts movie review

We come home again to Los Angeles

Reese Witherspoon stars in film “Home Again”

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Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney in "Home Again."
Courtesy of Open Road Films


Home Again

Directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer

Produced by Erica Olde and Nancy Meyers

Written by Hallie Meyers-Shyer

Home Again stars Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies, Wild, Walk The Line, Sweet Home Alabama) as Alice Kinney, an interior designer, in a modern romantic comedy. Recently separated from her husband (Michael Sheen), Alice decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters.

The movie is an attempt to tell a relatable, personal story by sugaring up details with a series of unrealistic events. It starts on her 40th birthday — Alice goes out to a bar and meets three aspiring filmmakers. As if the alcohol made her reminiscent of her college days, she hooks up with one of the filmmakers who’s about 20 years younger than she is. Somehow all three of them end up at her house, and her mother later on convinces Alive to let them stay in the guest house temporarily as they happen to be in need of a place to live. The arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways.

The whole character dynamic grows strange after two of the filmmakers fall in love with Alice. They seem to have only taken interest in her after they discover she’s the daughter of a successful director father and actress mother. Later in the plot, her ex-husband also joins the band and you suddenly have a mother and her two daughters living under the same roof as the ex-husband (who lives in New York, but flies across the country to his convenience) and three random strangers from a drunk night at the bar. Was this just supposed to be some form of comic relief?

The film’s underlying motive, however, takes a completely different route. It is supposed to be about a story of love, friendship, and the families we create — with one very big life lesson: Starting over is not for beginners. It focuses on Alice’s growth through her divorce, but instead of taking time and space for herself, she gets involved in an on-off relationship with a 20-year-old guy. It was dissatisfying to see how disconnected the events and scenes were. She also quits her job, but the audience can tell that she really doesn’t need one given her mansion in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.

If you’re looking for a movie to pass the time, this could be an option — but there are definitely better things to watch!