Home Again (2017) – Lessons about Home, Life, Love… and Finding Happiness

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Home Again (2017) – Lessons about Home, Life, Love… and Finding Happiness

These days, it’s rare to discover something at the box office that takes you by surprise, and is darn good to boot.

Life is forcing her to, at forty, “begin again.” With a cross-country move under her belt, two adorable kids and a husband (Michael Sheen) she’s separated from, Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) is trying to figure out what this means. As her 4-0 arrives, Alice spends the morning crying in the bathroom. You see, despite the positive face she puts on, she does feel a little overwhelmed. Still, she puts on a smile, gets her girls off to school (surly attitude from her eldest and all), and prepares her pitch for the first job interview she’s banking on as an interior designer. That night, she lets her girlfriend’s take her out for a night of drinks where she has an unexpected encounter.

Under the bright lights of Hollywood, Harry, George and Teddy (Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Nat Wolfe) are friends and aspiring filmmakers. Moving from New York to California, they have some new prospects revolving around their breakout short film. It’s out during a night of celebrating where they meet Alice. Harry takes a liking to the older woman and her infectious personality, which leads the trio to Alice's door after a night of hard partying. Through a series of events, the starving artists end up staying in Alice’s guest house, a choice that turns out to change all their lives…

I don’t frequent the theater for every film that interests me. Because of this, I feel like I choose the films I do see with a little more care… and then, sometimes I see something on a whim. That was the case for Home Again, a film I knew little about except that its TV promotional spots made it seem like a funny flick. Couple this with the fact that Reese Witherspoon is one of my favorite actresses, and I was ready to spend a couple hours in the confines of a movie theater.

Call it a hunch or sixth sense, but despite knowing little about this film, it had the appearance of something I’d adore. Turns out these assumptions were correct. Like anything Witherspoon has done (in this genre), Home Again is another piece of cinematic “magic” as only she can bring to the role. The charm is off the charts cute, so much so it overshadows the flaws we wish weren’t there (but can see). If I wanted to nitpick the film, I  might talk about Alice’s unwise decision to bring three strange men into her home, but then we wouldn’t have a story, and then I wouldn’t have been thoroughly charmed.

This story has nuance, and clever wit, a winning combination that’s nearly as bright as its leading lady’s natural charm. What we most appreciate is that this script tries. It even succeeds in wrapping us in feelings of nostalgia and bittersweet emotions about “home.” This film does so much more than just this. The ending is complete, and so much “braver” than most films in this genre opt for.

If you’re looking for something to different o experience, consider visiting this portrait of life, love, family and home. Home Again loses some polished sense of “perfection” now and again, but its successes far outweigh the imperfections. It even embraces the flaws and uses them to better illustrate our easily susceptible human nature. It’s this that I admire most about Home Again. ♥

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can purchase Home Again on DVD and Bluray or own/rent digitally on Amazon Video.

Content: there is some profanity (sh*t, taking Jesus' name in vain, etc.), and suggestive adult content (casual sex, and innuendo). Home Again is rated PG13.

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