It was inevitable that actress Hallie Meyers-Shyer would get behind the camera and helm her own film, after all she is the daughter of director Nancy Meyers and writer Charles Shyer. And given their film catalog which includes "Something's Gotta Give", "The Intern", "The Holiday", and "The Parent Trap"... it was a given that her first film would be a rom-com.


She was paying attention when it came to casting; hire at least a couple of well respected actors - in this case Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, Candace Bergen, and Michael Sheen - and make the story plausible.


The next thing she missed. That thing is developing clear good guy/bad guy characters. No, the bad guy doesn't have to be like Darth Vader - not in a rom-com at least - but you must at least see the personality defects just like you must see the personality pluses of the good guy!

Reese plays Alice, a separated mom who is the daughter of a famous director father and famous actress mother. Good, she borrowed a pit from life with the parental thing, save the fact that she killed off Alice's dad. Anyway, Alice has moved to LA from New York and taken residency in her dad's old home with her two precocious girls Isabel (Lola Flanery) and Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield).


In the meantime three young wannabe film makers Teddy (Nat Wolff), Harry (Pico Alexander) and Justin (Reid Scott) have lost their temporary housing due to their inability to pay the rent. By coincedence the filmmakers come across Alice at a party and, with the suggestion and encouragement of her mother Lillian (Bergin), she allows them to stay in her guest house.


Harry, the leader of the filmmakers has a thing for Alice despite the fact she is considerably older than he. Naturally things happen despite utterances that things can't happen leading to a quite cozy situation for all parties. Of course that won't last.

Alice's estranged husband Austen (Michael Sheen) shows up on the seen not long after he learns of the three filmmakers. As yu can guess, the testosterone levels increase and challenges are made, in particular when it comes to the two girls who are quite fond of Harry and Justin in particular.


Meanwhile the filmmakers are at an impasse with the production of their film which has caught the attention of a horror movie big shot (Josh Stamberg) who wants to add quite a few changes.


Alice gets what she thinks is a first job as an interior decorator when a new customer (Lake Bell) hires her for everything but redecorating. This includes the old "Would you mind baby-sitting while I go out" routine. (I actually have a friend to whom this happened!)


You already know what's going to happen and you already know the outcome. It would have been good to know more about Alice's soon to be ex as there is no hostility or malice when he comes calling. Why did she leave and fly completely across the country to get away from him. There was no attempt to make Austen a real piece of skum, so we never dislike him.


Alice is a cute but flat character. You never really like her or hate her, she is just their. The only one with any kind of life is Bergen's character - who we don't see enough of.


"Home Again" is just another cookie cutter rom-com that really isn't very funny and is far too predictable. This is a huge come down from her roles in "Wild" and "Inherent Vice"; but I guess the rent must be paid somehow!   -- GEOFF BURTON