Reviewed byrgkarimVote: 6/10/10
Not in the mood for scares this weekend? No problem, Hollywood has gotyou non-horror movie goers covered with another romantic comedy. Thisweekend, the legendary Reese Witherspoon stars in another HallieMeyers-Shyer work, in hopes of tickling your romantic fantasy on a lessrisqué scale. Robbie K back again with another movie review on HomeAgain. Will this film be another mundane addition to her lineup, or dowe perhaps have something special with this flick? Let's get started toanswer that question, shall we?
Charming/Cute: Like her works in the past, Meyers-Shyer has done afantastic job building an adorable world/situation for our charactersto play in. No major tension, violence, or heart- stopping shockmoments, exist in this movie. Instead it is just a simple tale thatwill pull at your heartstrings while portraying those romantic moralsmany wish to see. Such a positive atmosphere certainly offsets thehorror atmosphere of the other movie most likely to be in your theater.
Fun: With that positive atmosphere comes a fun movie, filled with smallsequences that are wholesome, innocent, and surprisingly entertaining.Like a Hallmark Movie on steroids, Home Again takes on plenty of lifelessons that are tested against the modern society trends today.Loyalty, romance, job work, responsibility, and child rearing are justsome of the things you'll get in this movie. And while tasteful, andcertainly predictable, the journey to addressing the obstructions inour character's life brings about some simplistic laughs, a plethora ofsmiles, and a few tears for whose hearts are warmed by Meyer-Shyer'swriting.
Acting: Despite what some say, I found the acting okay and well-fittinggiven the environment of the movie. Witherspoon herself felt verynatural in the role of a single mom looking to find herself again. Shebrought great energy to the film, all while keeping herself groundedamidst the chaos of all the relationships. The kids were an adorableaddition, each playing their parts well to offset the romantic dramaloaded into this film. I particular liked the older daughter story andhow it integrated a different side of the guys to help solve adifferent problem. Speaking of the guys all three "eligible" bachelorswere decent in playing their assigned roles, from younger brotherbringing peace, to the stud that caught Reese's eyes. Of all them, JonRudnitsky was my favorite and the most dynamic of the characters beingintegrated into the film. A nice blend of comedy and drama, Jon'scharacter kept the characters well integrated into the mix.
The short run time: A predictable tale like this can get old, fast.Fortunately, they had the foresight to cut this movie to the shorterend, telling the tale in enough details to get the job done. A plus onmy side, though many may feel robbed of a full story they pine forgiven her past films.
Rushed elements: Despite the short time being a nice gift, Home Again'sbrisk pace leaves some key development scrounging for a rebound. Somuch potential to really give more layers to the movie, and perhaps geta few engaging story lines out of the mix would have been the betterroute. Especially when it came to the challenges at hand.
No major obstacle: Home Again felt like a movie with little struggle,few challenges, and in all honesty a lackluster tale all in all. Itplayed a little too close to home and left me just milling about as theproblems seemed to iron themselves away. With all the complicatedrelationships crammed into this tale, one would expect a little moreresistance from the awkward shuffling this cast played. Even mostHallmark movies push back more than this film did before they get tothat mushy-gushy ending that millions fall in love with. Perhaps alarger challenge might have made for more engaging characters and afeeling of accomplishment.
Characters: Sure they are charming, cute, admirable, and responsible inmany ways, but I have to face the facts the characters are rather onedimensional. The actors did well with what they were given, but much ofthe movie's puppets were a bit boring to me. Much of my fellow audiencemembers like their physical appearances the most, but this reviewer haddifficulties attaching to them because of their stunted growth. EvenReese's character seemed a bit dull, caught in a whirlwind ofindecision before suddenly flipping sides. Even worse, the characters(like the plot) were predictable, further dulling the film'sentertainment value.
Little Candice Bergen: When you sell Murphy Brown in the trailers, Ihope to get more of the spunky actress. Not the case, as Bergen isreduced to a few nugget lines of dialog that is lost in the "romantic"tide. Had she been integrated into the movie, I have no doubt thecharacters could have grown stronger with her pushing Reese's characterto better herself.
While certainly cute, Home Again was a bit too simplistic for mytastes, missing the potential to be one of the better romanticcomedies. A rushed story with limited character growth, no realobstacles to keep you engaged, and some missed comedic elements doesn'tbode well for this predictable tale. However, it is still a fun, feelgood movie that will do its job of entertaining target audiences witheye candy, simplistic laughs, and an overall warm your cardiac pumpmoment that will make you feel good at the end of the day. Not a badfeeling, but not worth the inflated movie ticket price.
Comedy/Drama/Romance: 6.0 Movie Overall: 5.5
Reviewed byN CamaraVote: 2/10/10
This movie tries so hard to be original that the result is totallyunfunny. Also, the acting is pretty bad, too, sometimes it looks quiteamateurish (even Reese Witherspoon!). It's a failed attempt at making acool family movie, the plot is just too much so over the top. If youlike films that are easy to watch but still quality, look elsewhere!
Reviewed byDave McClain (email@example.com)Vote: 1/10/10
Have you ever been to a high school play? Those kids and their directorwork on it for a long time and they try really hard, but no matter whatthey do, no high school play is going to compete for a Tony Award orhave Hollywood studios clamoring to make the play into a movie with TheOriginal Cast. If you're in the audience, you may enjoy some moments ofthe play, but you'll often get distracted by what's wrong with it.You'll surely notice some of the actors are more talented than others.There will probably be a really pretty girl who seems to be in a lot ofplays and may even win some awards and she'll be acting opposite aslightly older guy with fake gray in his hair, but they'll be actingalongside guys and girls who don't quite manage to get genuine emotioninto their performances. And then there's the story. Whether the scriptis good or not, in the hands of a bunch of high school students and adirector, who is probably fairly young and may be just starting out,the play's action comes off as unrealistic and may make you roll youreyes a few times or even laugh at the production (not laugh with it laugh AT it). Well, you may have a similar set of experiences watchingthe rom-com "Home Again" (PG-13, 1:37).
Alice Kinney (Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon) has come home. (She'salready there when the movie begins, with no drama leading up to theactual homecoming as the movie's title seems to be implying.) She hasmoved from New York City, back to L.A. into the home of her late filmdirector father and back in close contact with her former actressmother, Lillian Stewart (Golden Globe and Emmy winner and Oscar nomineeCandice Bergen). Alice has brought her two daughters, insecure youngteen Isabel (Lola Flanery) and the precocious little Rosie (Eden GraceRedfield), but Alice has left behind her music manager husband, Austen(Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen). She considers herself separatedfrom Austen and has decided to start another new career where she grewup. She freely admits that she was bad at photography and her otherprevious ventures, but now she thinks she can be an interior designer.She isn't hurting for money, but trying a new profession is part oftrying to figure out her life.
Alice goes out with her old friends to celebrate her 40th birthday andmakes some new friends some very young new friends who become verygood friends. Alice's birthday celebration merges with the night out ofthree aspiring filmmakers who are celebrating getting a meeting with aproducer who is interested in making their acclaimed short film into afeature. This trio of 20-somethings includes the tall, suave andhandsome Harry (Pico Alexander), who is the director (and the group'sleader), the hard-working screenwriter George (Jon Rudnitsky) andHarry's sensitive younger brother, Teddy (Nat Wolff), the actor. Theparty ends up back at Alice's where everyone passes out. The nextmorning, Lillian shows up with the girls after spending the nighttogether, the guys are star struck and everyone bonds over breakfast.Lillian finds out that the guys just lost their apartment and suggeststhat Alice let them stay in her guesthouse. She's hesitant, but agrees.Before long, Alice strikes up a romance with Harry, George mentorsIsabel in her school drama activities and Austen shows that he's not sosure his marriage to Alice is really over.
"Home Again" is a clichéd, unrealistic fantasy. Everything simplyhappens too easily for these characters and the plot resolutions thateventually arrive are not well-earned, dramatically speaking. Not onlydoes the script indulge about every rom-com cliché in movie history,but it has the actors do and say things that just don't ring true,making it feel more like a fantasy film than a romantic comedy.Writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer (daughter of successful filmmakerNancy Meyers) can be forgiven to an extent, this being her first filmas writer or director, but having an Oscar winner say lines like, "Iknow this, because I know this," is simply unworthy of a major motionpicture. Besides, the experienced cast members should've known better,while the younger cast should've done better (or been cast better).Most of the performances lack emotional depth and most of therelationships portrayed lack cinematic chemistry.
On the positive side, this film has a bland sweetness about it, thereare moments of muted joy and the set-up is fairly creative, but thesetting isn't relatable to most Movie Fans and it's hard to imagineanyone considering this a quality film. As for Meyers-Shyer, she wasstill in her 20s when she wrote and shot this movie. Hopefully, herfollow-up efforts will show some professional growth. If not, I'm surethere's a high school somewhere that could use a drama director. As forMovie Fans who go to the trouble to go out and see this movie,afterwards, you'll be happy just to be Home Again. "D+"
Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.