Home Again Parent Guide
This middle-aged fantasy for women offered a very unrealistic script with a few laughs.
Parent Movie Review
A middle-aged fantasy for women, Home Again offers separated-but-not-divorced Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) the “problem” of dealing with a bevy of men. An evening out with the girls to celebrate her 40th birthday (a non-event that has kept her in tears all day) leads to an all-nighter of binge drinking with three twenty-something guys that are homeless, wannabe filmmakers. The entourage crashes at her Hollywood home and the birthday girl almost has sex with one of them. Predictably, the gang is discovered the next morning when Grandma Lillian (Candice Bergen) drops by with Alice’s two young daughters.
After the surprise “Hello”, including the inevitable moment of trying to keep Harry (Pico Alexander) hidden behind the bedroom door, Grandma takes a liking to the boys and begins cooking up breakfast while Alice drives the girls to school and puts a few hours into her budding home décor business. By the time she returns, Lillian and the fellows have downed a few more glasses of wine and she has invited them to live in Alice’s pool house. Initially the mother-of-two isn’t so sure this is a good idea, until she peers through the window and views a greeting card moment of Harry, Teddy (Nat Wolff) and George (Jon Rudnitsky) having a family moment with her two youngsters, Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield) and Isabel (Lola Flanery).
At this point someone should yell, “CUT!”, and take some time to think about this little La La Land fairytale. Inviting three destitute strangers into your home so they can cavort with your little girls and regularly imbibe with Grandma just doesn’t seem to be a good game plan—even if they are willing to fix stuff around the house and show off their abs. For that matter, nothing in Alice’s life is rooted in reality. Living in her philandering and now deceased filmmaker father’s rambling home, she dabbles with her business but really spends the bulk of her time engaging in the soap opera of her empty life. She also succumbs to Harry’s frequent sexual overtures (this is depicted in many scenes of passionate kissing that eventually lead to the bedroom).
We can only assume an inheritance or Alice’s husband Austen (Michael Sheen), who is distracted with his music business in New York, is paying the bills for the ongoing party. But when he discovers the three amigos cavorting with his wife and daughters, he has a moment of sensibility and comes to Los Angeles. Yet his renewed presence only adds to the ongoing alpha male competition and does nothing to suggest Rosie and Isabel are going to have any hope of a stable family outcome.
Shot in a beautiful neighborhood with a cast of vanilla characters who look way too good to be stressed about jobs, money and life, Home Again is the antitheses of those many male-dominated movies with lusty women romping by the pool. If you can buy into the script’s subtle argument that if her father could roam the Hollywood hills looking for young women to bed, there’s no reason his daughter can’t do likewise, this romantic comedy may offer enough laughs to keep you interested.Directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, Pico Alexander. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release September 8, 2017. Updated September 18, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Home Again rated PG-13? Home Again is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some thematic and sexual materialViolence:
Characters are threatened with eviction when they cannot pay their rent. Two men get into a scuffle and a couple of punches a thrown: each sustains minor injuries.
Characters are seen in bed together. Characters kiss passionately, begin to undress each other and fall into bed. Frequent kissing is shown. Sexual relations are strongly implied between a woman who is separated from her husband and a young, single man. Characters talk about infidelity, adultery, marriage, divorce and mistresses. Characters dance seductively. Sexual remarks and innuendo are heard. Male characters are seen shirtless and striping down to their underwear to go swimming.
Terms of deity are frequently used as expletives. Scatological slang is heard along with a few mild and moderate profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters drink constantly throughout this film (in bars and at home), often to the point of drunkenness. A character is heard vomiting after a night of partying. Smoking is depicted. Characters talk about antidepressant drugs. A woman takes a pill for anxiety symptoms. A package of marijuana is seen. ces to illegal drug use.
- Frequent portrayals of alcohol use in a recreational context.
Page last updated September 18, 2017
More parents' guide for Home Again after the break...
Home Again Parents' Guide
In the movie, characters talk about an older man who married a much younger woman. Why does that seem acceptable, but it seems strange when 40-year-old Alice is attracted to 27-year-old Harry? Even though Alice is happy to have sex with Harry, is she comfortable calling him her boyfriend or introducing him to her friends? How does she explain their relationship to her children, mother and ex-husband?
How realistic is the romantic interest depicted here? How many men seem attracted to Alice? What does she want out of her relationship with Harry? What does he want from her? What complications does the return of her ex-husband create?
At one point in the script, Alice explains that it is hard to make a decision that lasts forever when you are only 25. Why is it ironic that the men in her life are about the same age, and she is expecting them to make mature choices? Are any of the characters really acting like responsible adults?
News About "Home Again"
This movie is written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, who is the daughter of writer/directors Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer. As a child she played small parts in her parent's films, The Parent Trap (1998), Father of the Bride (1991) and What Women Want (2000).
The plot of Home Again involves a 40-ish woman (Reese Witherspoon), who is having an affair with a 20-ish man (Pico Alexander), when her spouse (Michael Sheen) returns with the hopes of putting their marriage back together. The depiction of older people (both men and woman) being desirable shows up in some of her mom's work too, (It's Complicated, The Intern). Perhaps that influence is there because Nancy Meyers also acts as a producer for this film.