Released: 29th September 2017
Directed By: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen
Reviewed By: Van Connor
Did you know Reese Witherspoon is now in her forties? If you didn’t, you certainly will by the end of this frothy family-friendly rom-com, which seems to have been constructed around the central concept of breaking this news to the world. Play a drinking game with Home Again and take a shot every time someone mentions Witherspoon’s age, and it’s pretty likely you’ll be stumbling home yourself afterwards.
That said, the actual plot sees Witherspoon as a newly single mom who takes a trio of aspiring filmmaker brothers in as tenants in her oversized Hollywood home (she’s the daughter of filmmaking royalty, purely to explain the ludicrous size of the Spanish villa), only for the family dynamic to shift and incorporate each of the boys in different ways. For the youngest, he becomes something of a domestic figure, the middle a supportive uncle figure, and, for the eldest, a romantic foil whose presence could bring enough complication to unravel the whole family.
Given that plot and Reese Witherspoon in the lead, there’s never the faint pretence that Home Again is striving for anything even vaguely more complicated than the nuts ‘n bolts rom-com formula it knows its cast can deliver ably. Witherspoon’s on her usual likeable form, the trio of brothers make for amusingly written archetypes (even if they continually suggest that first-time writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer has never spent a night under a roof with more than one man at the same time) and Michael Sheen takes a well-deserved stab at stealing the entire show as a cardigan-adorned music exec.
There’s little to which you can truly object in Home Again; though, admittedly, John Debney’s score couldn’t be more phoned in had he actually delivered it via Facetime, and the film on the whole has less substance than your average milkshake, but it’s at least a competently made and faintly sparky enough time that its low ambition and unthreatening charm makes for a pleasant enough ninety minuter. It’s a cinematic box of Guylian, begging to be your forgettable Friday night indulgence, and demanding literally nothing more.