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Parents' Guide to

Home Again

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Some sexual situations and drinking in shallow romcom.

Movie PG-13 2017 97 minutes
Home Again Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

Love this movie

This is a super cute movie, typical of a Reese Witherspoon film. There was a clear positive message and not too many inappropriate scenes. I really enjoyed this movie.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 12+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (6 ):

This is one of those brightly lit Hollywood romcoms with commercial-style acting and precious little insight into human behavior. It's built on thin contrivances and thinner characters. Does it seem wise for a newly separated mom of two young kids to allow three total strangers to move in to her guesthouse? They're not paying rent; Alice only knows them from one night of drunken partying and near-sex (she even admits when she agrees to the arrangement that she doesn't know two of their names). No background checks, nothing. And she doesn't tell her recently estranged but still very involved husband about the situation. Really, it sounds more like a setup for a horror movie than a romcom. Plus, logical issues aside, Home Again is a textbook case of "telling, not showing." We're told the characters are great writers, actors, designers, whatever -- but we're never shown these qualities. We're told Austen is "the actual king of manipulation," but we see none of that. He seems like an OK guy who really loves his kids. Alice, no stranger to the film industry since her dad was a director and her mother an actress, starts a relationship with one of the young filmmakers, but when he can't come to a dinner party because he's stuck in a meeting (and texts to tell her so), that's apparently a hanging offense.

The film is so unmoored from reality that even though it's set in diverse, modern-day Los Angeles, it's actually a surprise when a nonwhite face shows up on the screen. Home Again -- which marks the directing debut of romcom queen Nancy Meyers' daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer -- gets a laugh here and there from an 11-year-old quoting a Zoloft ad, but never from viewers' understanding of the characters or their interactions. The acting is done a disservice by the script and direction's lack of depth. Supposedly charming "boy" Harry (Alexander) essentially plays the same smirk through the whole film instead of finding levels and tactics in his scenes -- that's on Meyers-Shyer. The acting sort of finds its footing when Witherspoon is caught in a tug-of-war between Austen and her guests and when there's a brief confrontation between Austen and Teddy, but even that suddenly devolves into a fistfight played for (meager) laughs. Home Again's apparent theme of choosing your family, rather than just being born into it, sits unmoving on its shallow, undistinguished surface.

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