Home Again review – Reese Witherspoon sparkles in silly but watchable romcom

Familiar romantic comedy tropes abound in the debut film from Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of the genre’s empress, Nancy Meyers

Reese Witherspoon brand loyalty kept me on board for this, as well as a hapless addiction to what we now have to call the Meyers house style: like salivating at the sight of crème et oignon Pringles. Making her feature debut is writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of feelgood-romcom empress Nancy Meyers, who has a producer credit here. The film has a lot of Nancy’s key ideas, including miraculously available and manageable younger men and outrageously expensive Martha Stewart interiors. (This film seems to use some locations from Nancy Meyers’s It’s Complicated – LA’s fabulous hacienda-style homes might all look alike – and Lake Bell reprises her role as the uptight drama queen whom no one likes.)

Witherspoon is Alice, 40, newly separated, an “interior designer” with two adorable daughters (though not obviously burdened by the dull business of work and childcare). She has moved into her late father’s palatial LA home (her mother, played by Candice Bergen, appears to live elsewhere) while her sheepish, bearded, rumpled, still-in-love-with-her husband Austen (Michael Sheen) is back in New York. He’s totally rich as well.

Then three cute young twentysomethings – wannabe film-makers – move into Alice’s lavish “garden house”. The cutest is in love with Alice and all sorts of heart-spraining stuff ensues. It’s very silly but very watchable; you’d have to be very puritan to take exception.

Contributor

Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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