Midway in Home Again, Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s fluff-filled romantic comedy, somebody says to make film you want two issues: luck and expertise. Well, Meyers-Shyer actually has luck on her facet. Her mother and father are acclaimed writer-directors Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) and Charles Shyer (Baby Boom, Father of the Bride), and younger Hallie grew up on their film units. And for her directorial debut, Meyers-Shyer enlisted her mother to co-produce it, and persuaded her dad to function the movie’s second unit director. Lucky, certainly.

Unfortunately, the rookie helmer and screenwriter doesn’t but possess her mother and father’ eager observational abilities or wit. While Home Again is competently directed and carried out, it performs like a high-gloss Hallmark film, or a pale imitation of a classy Nancy Meyers rom-com. It’s as if Meyers-Shyer went snooping via her mother and father’ recordsdata and located an early draft of a discarded script and shot it.

As Home Again begins, Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) is crying in entrance a WC mirror. Why? It’s her 40th birthday. Although she lives in a wonderful Hollywood residence full with a pool and guesthouse, doesn’t actually need to work, has two fantastic, doting daughters, and appears to be content material with a current separation from her New York-based husband (Michael Sheen), she’s weeping. It’s an unconvincing second in a film stuffed with implausible occurrences. To have fun turning the Big Four-Zero, Alice goes to a bar with some girlfriends and meets three twentysomething filmmakers struggling to make it in La La Land. Soon, everyone seems to be crashing at Alice’s posh bungalow, the place she makes out with 27-year-old Harry (Pico Alexander). Alice’s mother (Candice Bergen) pops within the subsequent morning and takes an instantaneous liking to the boyish trio and persuades Alice to allow them to take up residence within the guesthouse. After all, Alice’s late father was a legendary filmmaker; he would wholeheartedly approve, she says. Soon, they’re all one huge joyful household, with Alice’s daughters wanting as much as the fellows like huge brothers. Of course, they don’t know that Harry is mother’s buddy with advantages. The intercourse in Home Again is scrubbed clear and discreet, and utterly off-screen, however this sanitized presentation is a part of what makes Home Again really feel so faux. Of course, issues of the formulaic-type come up, however a contented ending isn’t doubtful.

Witherspoon, who’s in practically each scene, is at all times pleasing to observe. She does candy and lovable higher than anybody however, sadly, that’s about all of the Oscar winner known as on to do right here. Bergen and Sheen are terrific, however underused, as is Lake Bell as a snooty Beverly Hills-type who hires Alice to brighten her daughter’s bed room after which dumps her. As for Alexander, he’s the weak hyperlink. He’s tall and good-looking, however pure vanilla. What Alice sees in Harry—-beyond intercourse—-remains a thriller.

Home Again is purportedly a few girl discovering the energy to make a mid-life change and courageously forge forward. But the film’s model of that change is pure fantasy. Nothing in Home Again would really occur. Of course, one purpose we go to the films is to reside in a fantasy world for a few hours. The movie’s audience, largely feminine, will seemingly view it as cute and cuddly, whereas others will see it as calculated and cringeworthy. Either manner, right here’s hoping Meyers-Shyers steps out of her mother and father’ revered shadows for her subsequent movie and bravely forges her personal singular, filmmaking path.