top of page

First-timer director Hallie Meyers-Shyer takes a familiar rom-com path with "Home Again"

Updated: Jul 23, 2018


Alice (Reese Witherspoon), a newly separated mother of two mets an aspiring filmmaker on a drinking binge while celebrating her big 4-0. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)


Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Everywhere; 2017; PG-13 ​for thematic ​and sexual material; streaming via Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

Best extra: Only one, commentary with mother/daughter moviemakers, Producer Nancy Meyers and writer/first-time-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer

“HOME AGAIN” might make you think this is a sequel to Reese Witherspoon’s 2002 box-office blockbuster, “Sweet Home Alabama.” Maybe it had been time to see where Melanie (Witherspoon) and Jake (Josh Lucas) ended up 16 years after rekindling their southern puppy love romance.

Alas, no such luck.

“Home Again” is a hackneyed story about a divorcing mom who moves back to Hollywood, into her moviemaker father’s home. She brings her two daughters, a hodgepodge of daddy memories and a suitcase filled with unsorted emotional and psychological issues.

It might sound more like a drama than a comedy. But with the people behind this flick, producer Nancy Meyers (1998’s “The Parent Trap,” “What Women Want,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “The Holiday,” “It’s Complicated”) and writer/first-time-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, that type of script wasn’t going to be written.

This time, Witherspoon must work through the death of her father, becoming a single mom at 40, reconnecting with her former starlit mother (played by Candice Bergen) and three young, hot aspiring filmmakers (Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Nat Wolff). Oh, and then there’s her ex.

To say there is a lot going on with this movie, which was filmed digitally (1.85:1 aspect ratio), is an understatement. Still, the on-screen chemistry between the actors, and the little girls who play Witherspoon’s daughters, is laudable. At least the casting was on the mark.

Kudos end there.

Alice has dinner with her mother (Candice Bergen) her ex-husband (Michael Sheen) and the young three filmmakers who are living at the house.

Not even the bonus feature, commentary with the mother/daughter team, made much fun of the movie-making process. You find out that Witherspoon was so good with the young, female actors because she’s a mom (go figure). And, that Bergen brought class to the set, but this story is not one for the history books or film school classes. Sometimes, it didn’t even seem like the two women were in the same room recording the commentary.

For Witherspoon, and Bergen fans, “Home Again” might make a good couch date night. On the other hand, if you’re in the romance mood, skip it. Instead, watch “Sweet Home Alabama” for a Witherspoon classic, or, better yet, “Legally Blonde.” 

- Toni Guagenti




bottom of page