“Home Again” Review: A Feel-Good Drama We Could All Use
In the overwhelmingly negative new cycle we are living in, cinema can serve as both a commentary and escape. Luckily, Home Again is that escape we’ve been craving. Reese Witherspoon plays Alice Kinney, a recently separated mother who has moved with her two daughters back home to Southern California and is working to get her life back on track. She has moved into the house of her deceased father, a talented and famous filmmaker, and must pull together her life while her soon to be ex-husband lives in New York. One wild night of too much drinking to celebrate her birthday, she and her friend end up bring the after party back to her house. This after party includes a significantly younger man by the name of Harry (Pico Alexander) and his friend George (Jon Rudnitsky) and brother, Teddy (Nat Wolff). Harry and Alice end up getting hot and heavy until Harry ends up getting sick. As they awake the next morning, Alice’s mother, Lillian (Candice Bergen) brings Alice’s daughters Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield) and Isabel (Lola Flanery). Alice is thrown back into reality and motherhood. In the process, Lillian starts to speak with the boys and ends up having a conversation learning that the boys love her Alice’s father’s films and that they are indeed working on their own film as well. Lillian suggests that the boys stay in the guest house while they try to make their way in the world of Hollywood. Alice agrees, and as you can guess, it is both easier and more difficult to have the boys around as they connect with Alice, Isabel, and Rosie.
In a film like Home Again, the casting is extremely important, especially for the guys. They needed to be likeable, charismatic, and fun, and each of the guys hit that point. Their relationships and interactions with both Alice and the girls make the audience swoon and adds even more to their likability making us root for their success in their filmmaking endeavors. Reese Witherspoon plays Alice perfectly. She is an excellent mother but still shows the uncertainty with being newly single and not knowing the future. The scenes in which Alice falls apart are so raw and spectacularly acted, you can’t deny how talented Reese Witherspoon is. I’ve always said that child actors can make or break a movie in a lot of ways. The children in this film are perfectly cast. They give good performances and enhance the story even more. Eden Grace Redfield even steals the scene as Rosie with her sassy and overly mature commentary.
It is funny because I was just having a conversation about the lack of feel-good drama/ comedy films in the market. We’ve crossed over into a realm where most of the rom-com, dramedy films are either overly sexualized and crude or very dark and moody. Home Again has a certain level of nostalgia for those films that just make you smile and feel good. There is something special about that type of film that leaves you with a sense of levity.
The film has great messages about strength, rebirth, growth, and family. Alice may not be the perfect mother, but she is working on herself and her family while getting support from a very unlikely place: three young filmmakers pursuing their dreams in Hollywood. The film is an ode to the love of storytelling, cinema and the Hollywood dreamers of all kinds. Seeking a new life and a new start, Alice brings her family to Los Angeles and creates a family she never knew she needed. Home Again is a feel good drama that will leave you with a renewed hope in life and the love you find with family, whether blood-related or not.