Home Again Blu-ray Review
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I tell people all the time that we’re living in a golden age of TV. With the advent of Netflix and other streaming services, people have access to a lot of great television in the palm of their hands and multiple ways to watch it. You could almost say that this digital revelation has killed the sitcom and family-friendly material that’s populated the landscape for generations. Everything from LEAVE IT TO BEAVER to FRIENDS are now relics, although there’s still some healthy nostalgia for those kinds of shows. I mention this because I feel like “Home Again” is a sitcom, but it’s not iconic or enjoyable like a microwaved bag of popcorn. It’s more like a bad bag of Doritos that you’re left eating because you have a certain level of distaste for your own well-being at the moment.
Okay, so maybe HOME AGAIN isn’t that, but there’s certainly a lot wrong with its plot. Alice Kinney (Witherspoon) is a hard-working interior designer whose home and lifestyle appears to be sustained by her father’s previous accomplishments in sunny L.A. She’s the daughter of an Oscar winning director and writer whose awards are boxed up in one room and the money is seen throughout every facet of the home. Despite being a well-known name, he was never drawn into the Hollywood lifestyle, instead finding more solace, love and joy with his daughter. That’s actually a kind of sweet sentiment.
But trouble enters when after a drunken night at the bar; Alice brings home three young go-getters who are the poor man’s ENTOURAGE. George (Jon Rudnitsky) is a self-important aspiring director, believing himself to be the next Stanley Kubrick. Then there’s Harry (Pico Alexander), who believes he has more acting chops than Alec Baldwin. Finally there’s Teddy (Wolff), the third wheel to the creative bunch who believes himself as Steve Jobs, an idea man, but without a decent idea.
Unfortunately, Teddy does one thing right, creepily hit on and constantly flirts with Alice, who he eventually knocks boots with multiple times. George pulls the nauseating “nice guy” card because believes he’s more deserving of Alice’s affection. Harry, while not necessarily showing any signs of interest in Alice, is oddly protective of the bizarre family dynamic of Alice as the single mom with two kids. He seems to believe himself as the maid from THE BRADY BUNCH, but reacts like a mother bear protecting her cubs when trouble arises.
Witherspoon’s likability kept me from completely loathing this movie. As much as I enjoyed her character, she’s not given a lot of realistic and grounded dialogue or common sense. It’s not until the third act that she actually becomes the independent and confident woman she should be, barely making up for the previously predictable hijinks in the film. Like most sitcoms, every problem that arises is wrapped with a neat bow and deep misunderstandings are hashed out in seconds. HOME AGAIN is a bad sitcom that may have been better with a laugh track. Some may find HOME AGAIN sweet, but most will wish it never existed.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:85:1) There’s nothing wrong with visually as this Blu-ray really hits the spot visually and in terms of clarity.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) No qualms with the audio either.
Feature Commentary with Director/Writer Hallie Meyers-Shyer and Producer Nancy Meyers: It’s difficult to listen to commentary for a movie I very nearly hated. While I admire their passion, I rarely agreed with a single word of praise from either of these two. While I can’t argue with their visual aesthetic choices, I found myself nitpicking their storytelling choices.