This silly sitcom is a disservice to its stars — well, except for one — and its audience. “Home Again” is as predictable as a sunset
Reese Witherspoon is divorced mom Alice, the daughter of a late film director and his much-younger wife (Candice Bergen).
Alice’s workaholic ex- husband (the always-entertaining Michael Sheen) lives in New York while Alice lives in her dad’s former Hollywood Hills mansion.
Alice goes out to a nightclub for her birthday and makes the acquaintance of three young men who have come to Los Angeles to write and direct films. Hunky Harry (Pico Alexander, “A Most Violent Year”) has eyes for Alice, and the two become an item.
That is, after the three men move into her beautiful guest house. I know this sounds contrived, because it truly is, what with Alice hesitating to invite them and her mother encouraging her to let them stay.
In the meantime, Alice, who is an interior decorator, finds it challenging to please her exasperating new client (the entertaining Lake Bell, “In a World…”) The client character is, incidentally, the most interesting of all the characters in the film — I wished the movie was about her immediately when she first appeared onscreen.
One of the reasons this isn’t particularly interesting is that Alice really doesn’t have any problems. Yes, she’s a single mother, but she’s a single mother with wealth and tons of support all around — including her absent but still-loving husband and two adorable, well-behaved children. I’ll bet you can think of several real-life single mothers whose situations are far more challenging and interesting.
This really is a sitcom — the kind of thing that you’d watch, perhaps, some years ago while you were doing something else.
This is all about characters learning important lessons from each other. From the three young men and her own mother, for example, Alice learns not to be so uptight. She, in turn, teaches the young men lessons about responsibility.
And the film is overflowing with clichés, right down to the mad rush to a child’s performance. Also, is there any more standard character in romantic comedies than the overworked father/husband who spends too much time away from home?
In addition to Bell’s character, there is a cute nod to “Carnal Knowledge,” in which Candice Bergen starred. But otherwise there is little that you haven’t seen before. It’s as bland as a beige wall. Although it does have a few clever moments, they are few and far between.
You’d be better off staying home again.