Meyers-Shyer may have gotten it from her mama, but the point of view is all hers.
Home Again is ostensibly about Alice (Reese Witherspoon), who is on the verge of turning 40, somewhat recently separated from her music producer husband (Michael Sheen) and attempting to start anew in California, having inherited her childhood home from her late father, a famed movie director.
In this August 24, 2017 photo, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, left, writer/director of the film “Home Again“, poses for a portrait with her mother, the film’s producer Nancy Meyers, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.
Hallie Meyers-Shyer: Very small. I don’t know why.
“I thought, Wow, I feel like a jerk for asking that; I used to have parts that just showed up for me”.
HMS: Yeah. I mean, obviously I share that similarity with Alice. But for me, the reason why I made her a filmmaker was more [inspired] by 70’s L.A. movies. But I wanted to write a story about someone who feels sexy and smart and is starting a new chapter. The film opens with a mini-biography of Alice’s life.
It is a time of transition, which explains a night of partying with her friends to celebrate her dreaded 40th birthday, and nearly justifies them coming back to the house with a trio of 20-something aspiring filmmakers in town looking for their big break in Hollywood. Now, she has made the first one of her own, starring the divine Reese Witherspoon. I think the dawn of streaming and the way that people are watching content now has been a great benefit because maybe women are too busy to go all the way to the theatre, but they still want to see a diverse array of women on screen.
At first, the guys are merely grateful, but soon they’re thrilled. He’s a bit of a deadbeat but also a charmer, and he’s starting to realize that he let a good one – well, three good ones, if you include his kids – get away.
There were things that I liked about the film but at the same time, it doesn’t really have anything to offer that we haven’t seen before. Alice, who has a wild night with the best-looking of them – 27-year-old Harry (Pico Alexander), who is also the short film’s director, of course – has that empty guesthouse. I pictured a lot of young Warren Beatty-type stuff.
Witherspoon can’t save this kind of amateur-hour theater and she deserves better.
The rest of Home Again plays out precisely as you expect: Alice gets her groove back through her affair with Harry, while the dudes try to make it in Hollywood without compromising their, um, artistic integrity.
A scene from “Home Again“, which finds Reese Witherspoon’s character starting over after a divorce.
HMS: I did not ignore any of it! Aside from the fact that the actor looks barely older than a fetus when compared to her, he’s a cheeseball with a jealous streak and a bad habit of not showing up.
Rudnitsky is actually a delight in a character that we have seen a thousand times.
WSJ: I’d imagined Home Again was autobiographical, but you just turned 30. For us, it’s just the house is an extension of Alice, and where she is in her life.