Let’s Get Reel: Home Again

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Let’s Get Reel: Home Again

Lauren Toneatto ’21

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Home Again tells the story of Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon), the daughter of a now deceased famous filmmaker, who packs her bags and moves to her childhood house in California following a split with her husband, Austen (Michael Sheen). Even though we first see Alice crying in her bathroom on her 40th birthday, everything is starting to go back to normal: her kids are starting school, she has a job interview, all the pieces are falling back into place. That’s until Alice meets a man, or rather three, that throw her for a loop.

Harry (Pico Alexander), Teddy (Nat Wolff), and George (Jon Rudnitsky) are aspiring directors, actors, and writers, respectively, trying to make it big in Los Angeles. We first see these fellows being kicked out of their motel after not being able to pay rent; but a glimmer of hope, or rather an Oscar shaped sparkle, comes their way when they meet Alice and her friends at a bar later that night. After waking up the next morning at Alice’s home, the boys stumble into Alice’s mother, Lillian (Candice Bergen), a former actress, and ex-wife to the famous filmmaker John Kinney, with a huge heart who offers the boy to temporarily stay in Alice’s guesthouse.

I was impressed by the opening credits connection to the film at large. The movie begins with old pictures of Alice’s father. Photos behind the scenes of movies and at home, all including women but rarely the same one. Alice narrates telling the love story of her parents. The picture perfect relationship, with a twenty-six year age gap, quickly turns upside down when her father has an affair with another women. A similar relationship soon forms between Harry and Alice, considering he’s a twenty-seven year old filmmaker and she’s a forty year old mom of two.

Overall, I thought it was a feel-good film perfect for a causal movie night with friends. However, I wasn’t too fond of the relationship between Harry and Alice. It felt forced and unrealistic that a man as young and handsome as Harry would want to settle down with a woman bottled up with anxiety and two daughters. I also didn’t like that out of nowhere George also suddenly had feelings towards Alice as well. Despite his character having this flaw, I thought Rudnitsky was a standout actor in this film. George also quickly took a liking to Isabelle (Lola Flanery—also an impeccable actress especially considering her age) and helped her overcome her fears of writing and submitting a one act play she would later perform at school. Played with sweet sensitivity, Rudnitsky brought to life a character that you can’t help but want to hug. Pico Alexander also brought an abundance of charm to his portrayal of heartthrob Harry.

There’s no need to run to theatres to see this film, but with a sea of horror movies coming our way, it’s nice to engage in a Rom-Com every once in awhile.

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