You know when you bake a cake, and you use top of the range, organic ingredients (like you even used real butter, not margarine) and you put all of your love into it, but when you pull it out of the oven it’s a burnt, crusty, tasteless mess? Home Again is that cake.
A talented cast with a great lead, experienced producers and a fresh plot line … it sounds like the makings of a great film—but it isn’t. Somehow, despite having all of the right ingredients, Home Again is utterly uninspiring and leaves the audience with the bitter taste of disappointment.
Home Again is the directorial debut of writer and director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, and while the film’s general premise isn’t all that bad (besides being completely unrealistic), the execution really isn’t great. There are a couple of laugh out loud moments throughout the film, but these are well and truly overshadowed by laughable moments.
The film initially looked promising, with an awesomely talented cast including Candice Bergen, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, the very cute Lola Flanery and Eden Grace Redfield. However, their performances were eclipsed by Reese Witherspoon’s bland, yet somehow also overly dramatic performance (I’ve seen Korean dramas with less dramatic acting). I have really loved Witherspoon’s films in the past, and I was looking forward to seeing another Sweet Home Alabama-type, fiery lead, but her performance here seemed incredibly forced and unnatural.
Witherspoon plays Alice Kinney, a recently separated mother of two young girls, living—what seems to be—the middle-aged woman’s perfect dream life, when she finds herself bunking up with three gorgeously attractive young men. These three men provide her with free babysitting, maid work, cooking and, of course, sex. Sure, it’s an entertaining idea, and it could have been refreshing to watch a rom-com about an older woman in a relationship with a younger man, but the film was made so poorly it was anything but refreshing. In all honesty, the entire plot line could’ve ended with Alice waking up from a dream and it would’ve made more sense.
I had such high hopes for Home Again and all it gave me was tear-inducing mediocrity. My recommendation (if you still feel some overwhelming need to watch this film): see it after it leaves cinemas, when you’re next lying in bed sick or hungover and need something to watch that will require absolutely no attention. As a matter of fact, watching it in such a state might actually make it better.