The brains behind the 1998 romantic comedy classic “The Parent Trap” and the leading actress in return-to-your-roots drama “Sweet Home Alabama” team up in “Home Again,” the latest rom-com to hit theaters.
As I walked into the theater and the opening credits began to play, my excitement and anticipation grew. Nancy Meyers, director and producer of movies like “Father of the Bride” and “The Intern,” and her daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer collaborated to produce Meyers-Shyer’s debut film. I have seen every single Nancy Meyers movie, so I expected no less than the best from this one.
Rom-com superstar Reese Witherspoon stars as Alice Kinney, a newly single mom of two that moves across the country to live in her late father’s house.
Even with a seemingly original return home, right from the opening credits, my excitement level dwindled as the cliches started with a montage of her father’s entire life scrolling across the screen. Within the first two minutes, “Home Again” already checks a requisite item of a romantic comedy: a troubled childhood with a decently famous father.
The only thing that would make the movie more predictable would be Alice meeting a starving artist film-making trio that decides to live in her house, which then creates a love triangle. Oh wait, that is exactly what happens.
While “Home Again” utilizes every single romantic comedy trope known to man, the one bright spot among the five different montages across the 97 minute movie is both the set and costume design.
Meyers, Meyers-Shyer and their production team expertly designed both the set and the costumes. From the mission-style house formerly owned by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck to the bright green grass in the what seems to be the seven acre backyard, the set at times takes away from the actual scenes.
As the trio of boys bond with Alice’s two daughters in the backyard, I paid more attention to the blues and pinks in the flowers behind their head, rather than the transformation of Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) into father figures.
The set design in the majority of Meyers’ movies coincide with these feelings. In fact, Architectural Digest has written over a dozen articles about Meyers’ films and its quintessential portrayal of the Pinterest-worthy home.
Not only did the set design inspire me to strive for a social-media ready room, but the costume design rivals no other. Harry, George and Teddy wear a plethora of blues that when placed into the scene with the greens, yellows and blues of Alice’s house once again distract from the cliched-filled scenes.
“Home Again” definitely did not meet my high expectations that Meyers and other movies had previously set. The lack of originality prompted a boring 97 minutes that ended with me twiddling my thumbs and instead looking in the background of the scene for the architecture. Stay home instead of seeing “Home Again” and watch one of Nancy Meyers’ other works.
Katie O’Meara – News Editor
Photo provided by Open Road Films