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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

Life can feel so much like a movie, ya know? So mush like one a' my director father's old movies. It's craazy!

I mean, looka me! Yes, I knows I'm 40. And this guy, Harry, and his friends are prolly no more than in their late twenties. But, hey, he started flirting with me, affer all. And, c'mon, what 40-year-old, recently separated woman wouldn't appreciate jus' a little attention from a handsome twentysomething guy, right?

What 40-year-old woman, with two kids, who's feeling un'erappreciated an' who's had prolly a wee bit too much to drink at her foortieth birthday party wouldn't leap at the chance ta be in my shoes right now … ? Tha's what I'd like ta know.

Woohoo! Les' party!

Of course, by the time Alice pulls herself up the next morning to find a naked guy in her bed and his friends all passed out on her couch next to one of her equally unconscious girlfriends, her head has cleared a bit. And she realizes that drinking that much was probably a bad thing.

Thank goodness her daughters, Isabel and Rosie, aren't here to see this.

But then, wouldn't you know it? There they are walking in the front door just in time to see Harry walk out of her bedroom.

The girls gasp.

"Oops," Alice's mother says. "Sorry."

Yep, drinking that much was probably a bad thing.

It's at this point that 40-year-old Alice Kinney wonders what happened in her life. What happened to her marriage? Why did she move the girls out here to California? Why isn't her music producer husband helping out more?

And why is her mother chatting up these young guys (who happen to be struggling filmmakers) and offering them the opportunity to stay in the empty guest house! Ugh!

If this were a movie, Alice thinks to herself, this would be the spot where the chipper underscore would start to rise while the mid-life crisis and romcom shenanigans begin.

(Cue: chipper underscore.)

Positive Elements

Alice makes several reckless choices that some of her friends see as "empowering." But gradually, she realizes she needs to make decisions with her daughters in mind.

Fortunately, the three guys, Harry, Teddy and George, are nice enough that they help in that transition. They befriend young Isabel and Rosie, making sacrificial choices on the girls' behalf and earnestly becoming father figures (as unexpected as that might seem) to them. In fact, George even goes so far as to warn Alice about Harry's womanizing ways to protect her and the girls. "The thing you gotta realize about Harry is, he doesn't do the right thing often enough." Eventually, even the girls' manipulative father, Austen, moves out to California and becomes a regular part of their lives.

Alice's own dad, meanwhile, was an inconsistent one, to be sure. But it's clear in flashbacks that he loved his daughter and would regularly encourage her. "Get ready, Alice," he whispers to her while hugging the young girl. "The future is yours."

Spiritual Content

Alice says Isabel has begun meditating to help deal with her stress levels.

Sexual Content

Alice describes her father's many marriages and infidelities. Indeed, we see him lounging with a number of bikini-clad women (one of whom is her mother). Though, she speaks of his randy proclivities with disdain, that doesn't stop her from repeatedly hitting the sheets with Harry herself (though always offscreen). We see the two make out a few times, and Harry grab her clothed breast once.

Harry goes without his shirt on at least four or five occasions. Another time, he's naked in bed but wrapped strategically in a sheet. Harry and Teddy both strip to their underwear and jump into the ocean for a swim. Harry is something of a player and easily slips into his seductive mode with a couple of different women.

Violent Content

The twentysomething guys all become a bit angry with Austen when he seems to be manipulating both Alice and his daughters. At one point Teddy, punches him in the nose. The two men begin scuffling, and both end up with bloody abrasions on their faces.

Crude or Profane Language

A half-dozen s-words join a use or two each of "b--ch" and "h---." God's and Jesus' names are both misused a total of 14 times (with the former being combined with "d--n" once).

Drug and Alcohol Content

On the first day of school, 11-year-old Isabel feels stressed and pleads with her mom to put her on antidepressants like every other kid in America. Isabel tells her mom, "I'm feeling exhausted. Hopeless. And I don't enjoy the things I once loved." Alice asks, "Where are you getting this from?" Little sister Rosie chimes in from the back seat, "The Zoloft commercial, obviously!"

Alice doesn't put her kids on antidepressants, but we see how she is self-medicating herself. She takes some kind of prescription antianxiety pill and drinks beer, wine and hard alcohol every day. (Isabel even mixes a margarita for her mom.) We also see Alice inebriated on two or three occasions, which—as already noted—leads to her making foolish choices.

In fact, every adult in this movie drinks regularly, be it wine with dinner or other forms of social drinking. And after moving into the guest house, Teddy accidentally drops a bag of marijuana in front of Alice. He apologizes and promises to flush it

Other Negative Elements

Harry, who's drunk, vomits offscreen. A self-absorbed woman lies and abuses Alice's trust, having her work without compensation.


A few years back, actress Reece Witherspoon did an interview with Plugged In in which she said she enjoyed acting in films that inspire and motivate thoughtful conversations.

Home Again, quite frankly, doesn't reach that mark.

This lukewarm romcom does proffer a few nods to the importance of investing in your children. It casually affirms the need to grow up and take responsibility for your life and your relationships. And it even features a few characters an audience could almost care about. But then it stumbles.

Hampered by a laissez-faire, morally minimal worldview, Reese Witherspoon's latest is a film that could have been better … but isn't. As a would-be cinematic conversation starter, it never makes it past the opening icebreaker.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range





Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney; Michael Sheen as Austen; Candice Bergen as Lillian Stewart; Jon Rudnitsky as George; Pico Alexander as Harry; Nat Wolff as Teddy; Lake Bell as Zoey; Lola Flanery as Isabel


Hallie Meyers-Shyer ( )


Open Road Films



Record Label



In Theaters

September 8, 2017

On Video

December 12, 2017

Year Published



Bob Hoose

Content Caution

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