Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * *
Cast: Reece Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, Nat Woolf, Lake Bell, Pico Alexander, Candice Bergen, Lola Flanery, Jon Rudnitsky, Reid Scott, Josh Stamberg.
It is a struggle at times to show sympathy to someone who is intent on hurting themselves artistically, to whom the relationship between film lover and the offering on the screen is far below par and mainly due to the insistence of saccharine in the diet, leaves you feeling sluggish, desperate for something, anything to add a punch to overload placed before you. It is a struggle but one that seems to be forever on the menu, just slightly dished up in a different casing, in numerous sweet deserts, it is the feeling that you are Home Again and nothing has truly changed.
Throughout Home Again there is the feeling of trying to put a slightly cringe- ridden finger on a button that doesn’t require pressing, it is there to just add a barely disguised whiff of feel good, of the have it all society insisting that a story made with an eye of telling people how the world misjudges certain groups of people, of the rich and the bored, somehow makes sense to a cross section of society fighting for survival.
Timing is everything when it comes to art, a song released at the wrong time can languish unheard, a film which arrives at the wrong time of the year can be seen as crass and unforgiving. Release a film like Home Again at the start of the Christmas holiday season and it would suit the mood, the overdose of sugar inspired lines is apt with the chocolate and the sweets consumed.
It comes to something when even the presence of Michael Sheen in an American film does little to dispel the sense of dread the further the film goes on, but at least the Welsh actor adds a little fire to an otherwise despairing film to which finding a defence for is almost impossible.
A film in which to go Home Again might put you off visiting relations who put it on and simper over the lacklustre dialogue and permanent sighs of so called empowerment; this is not a film in which to eulogise over but instead to quickly confine to the basement of cinema. A very poor showing and a desperate attempt for attention which is not a good look.
Ian D. Hall