Not in the mood for scares this weekend? No problem, Hollywood has got you non-horror movie goers covered with another romantic comedy. This weekend, the legendary Reese Witherspoon stars in another Hallie Meyers-Shyer work, in hopes of tickling your romantic fantasy on a less risque scale. Robbie K back again with another movie review on Home Again. Will this film be another mundane addition to her lineup, or do we perhaps have something special with this flick? Let's get started to answer that question, shall we?
Charming/Cute: Like her works in the past, Meyers-Shyer has done a fantastic job building an adorable world/situation for our characters to play in. No major tension, violence, or heart- stopping shock moments, exist in this movie. Instead it is just a simple tale that will pull at your heartstrings while portraying those romantic morals many wish to see. Such a positive atmosphere certainly offsets the horror atmosphere of the other movie most likely to be in your theater.
Fun: With that positive atmosphere comes a fun movie, filled with small sequences that are wholesome, innocent, and surprisingly entertaining. Like a Hallmark Movie on steroids, Home Again takes on plenty of life lessons that are tested against the modern society trends today. Loyalty, romance, job work, responsibility, and child rearing are just some of the things you'll get in this movie. And while tasteful, and certainly predictable, the journey to addressing the obstructions in our character's life brings about some simplistic laughs, a plethora of smiles, and a few tears for whose hearts are warmed by Meyer-Shyer's writing.
Acting: Despite what some say, I found the acting okay and well-fitting given the environment of the movie. Witherspoon herself felt very natural in the role of a single mom looking to find herself again. She brought great energy to the film, all while keeping herself grounded amidst the chaos of all the relationships. The kids were an adorable addition, each playing their parts well to offset the romantic drama loaded into this film. I particular liked the older daughter story and how it integrated a different side of the guys to help solve a different problem. Speaking of the guys all three "eligible" bachelors were decent in playing their assigned roles, from younger brother bringing peace, to the stud that caught Reese's eyes. Of all them, Jon Rudnitsky was my favorite and the most dynamic of the characters being integrated into the film. A nice blend of comedy and drama, Jon's character 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 shorter end, telling the tale in enough details to get the job done. A plus on my side, though many may feel robbed of a full story they pine for given her past films.
Rushed elements: Despite the short time being a nice gift, Home Again's brisk pace leaves some key development scrounging for a rebound. So much potential to really give more layers to the movie, and perhaps get a few engaging story lines out of the mix would have been the better route. 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. It played a little too close to home and left me just milling about as the problems seemed to iron themselves away. With all the complicated relationships crammed into this tale, one would expect a little more resistance from the awkward shuffling this cast played. Even most Hallmark movies push back more than this film did before they get to that mushy-gushy ending that millions fall in love with. Perhaps a larger challenge might have made for more engaging characters and a feeling of accomplishment.
Characters: Sure they are charming, cute, admirable, and responsible in many ways, but I have to face the facts
the characters are rather one dimensional. The actors did well with what they were given, but much of the movie's puppets were a bit boring to me. Much of my fellow audience members like their physical appearances the most, but this reviewer had difficulties attaching to them because of their stunted growth. Even Reese's character seemed a bit dull, caught in a whirlwind of indecision before suddenly flipping sides. Even worse, the characters (like the plot) were predictable, further dulling the film's entertainment value.
Little Candice Bergen: When you sell Murphy Brown in the trailers, I hope to get more of the spunky actress. Not the case, as Bergen is reduced 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 the characters could have grown stronger with her pushing Reese's character to better herself.
While certainly cute, Home Again was a bit too simplistic for my tastes, missing the potential to be one of the better romantic comedies. A rushed story with limited character growth, no real obstacles to keep you engaged, and some missed comedic elements doesn't bode well for this predictable tale. However, it is still a fun, feel good movie that will do its job of entertaining target audiences with eye candy, simplistic laughs, and an overall warm your cardiac pump moment that will make you feel good at the end of the day. Not a bad feeling, but not worth the inflated movie ticket price.
Comedy/Drama/Romance: 6.0 Movie Overall: 5.5