I’ve never been one for light, breezy entertainment. For years, I’ve thought of myself as a connoisseur of dark, thought-provoking cinema. But I’ve noticed something shifting in me. I think it’s called aging.
When watching Home Again, I didn’t take to it immediately. I didn’t laugh. But the rest of the audience did. They laughed so hard that I took a moment to look around and understand who these gasping-for-air people were. They were women. This was an entire theater of women, with the exception of one man sighing heavily beside me.
The sound of this audience said it all to me. Home Again is a movie that truly gets the straight, romantic comedy-loving lady. It’s a fluffy, fluffy, dreamy fantasy. I could feel the estrogen feel-good vibes popping.
The plot’s simple. Alice (Reese Witherspoon, Wild) is a 40-something single mom who surprises herself with a debaucherous night out on the town. In the morning, she wakes to one 20-something guy in her bed (Pico Alexander, A Most Violent Year ) and two more in her living room (Nat Wolff, Paper Towns and Jon Rudnitsky, Patchwork). Despite the likelihood, the young guys fit in with the family so well, they move in.
Home Again is sugar syrup of gender roles reversed. With the new additions to her family, Alice can get on with her career while having everything she could want – in-home child care, a cook, and sex. I wondered if the sexist role reversal was gross and I’ve concluded that it actually works because it’s so playful and oddly innocent.
Everything about Home Again is Hollywood on its best behavior. It has tones of 1950s escapism and idealism, down to the musical score. It even has the most gratuitous smiling face montage I’ve ever seen. Luckily I didn’t expect high art because I definitely didn’t find it here, but I did fall for Witherspoon’s perfect, nothing-can-go-wrong life. I was laughing with the rest by the end. It felt so satisfying after the everyday stress of my own. I guess I’ve just ventured into a new era of rom-com loving satisfaction. And you know what? I like it.
Editor’s note: Be wary of watching the trailer. It gives away the first 20 minutes of Home Again's punchlines!