Tag Archives: reese witherspoon

Movie Review – Home Again (2017)

Ugh…why did I waste my time on this stinkburger?

Oh, I know.  Because the East Randomtown Cineplex was all sold out on “It” tickets.

BQB here with a review of the poopfest that is “Home Again.”

If I wanted to write a parody of a romantic comedy, I would start with some vapid, surface level characters – beautiful people with beautiful people problems.  They’re rich and successful but they’re still sad because, I dunno, they’re not getting rich and successful in the exact way they’d like to be.  And they’re hot and attractive and have lots of dating options but can’t quite decide, out of the large pool of people who want to bang them, who to bang.

I’d add some boring, long drawn out conversations – a lot of “tell” instead of “show” and presto – a perfect romcom parody.

“Home Again” has all that and more.  Had they added a laugh track, it would have been the comedic event of the fall, poking fun at all of the romantic comedy tropes but alas, the rub is, this was a serious attempt at a romantic comedy that just fell flat.

Other than about an hour too long, I’m not sure what this movie is about.

The set-up is that Alice Kinney is a newly separated mom who has just moved her two kids to LA to live in the sprawling LA estate left to her by her wealthy Hollywood director father after his passing.  Oh, and her mother is a retired movie star played by Candace Bergen.  But the fact that Alice is rich and the offspring of Hollywood royalty is completely glossed over.  She’s struggling really hard to start her own interior decorator business and her client, played by Lake Bell, is being mean to her, and somehow you’re supposed to feel bad for Alice even though she’s rich enough that she could tell Lake to eat a bag of dicks if she wanted to.

During a 40th birthday celebration, Alice parties and meets three dudes.  They’re aspiring filmmakers including Harry, Teddy, and George (Pico Alexander, Nat Wolf and Jon Rudnitsky.)

The dudes are on the verge of a major movie deal – and you’re supposed to feel sorry for them because Hollywood suits are totally screwing with their artistic vision, even though, you know, we normal people, if offered any kind of Hollywood deal, would gladly suck a bag of dicks for it and let the suits know they can feel free to shit on our vision as much as they want as long as they back up the money truck to our houses.

Feeling sorry for the dudes because they have no place to stay, Alice allows the boys (all twenty somethings) to crash in her guest house.  Over time, a romance blooms between Alice and Harry.

It’s complicated because Alice hasn’t quite resolved things between her ex, Michael Sheen.  And Alice’s daughters start to get attached to the dudes, seeing them as quasi-uncle type figures.

At this point, the whole thing meanders and farts around, leaving the audience unsure as to what the hell is going on, what the point is, or if there even is one.

Perhaps the point is that older women shouldn’t feel ashamed if they fall for younger men.  Younger men shouldn’t necessarily even feel ashamed if they fall for older women.  Maybe age is just a number and as long as everyone is an adult of consenting age, then who cares?

The problem is at no time is that issue ever really explored.  A friend of Alice’s points out that older men go for younger women all the time so why shouldn’t Alice do the reverse?  True, but keep in mind that men are led by their boners while women are led by a desire for security.  Thus, an older man can hook a young babe as long as he’s willing to be treated like a human cash machine.  An older woman can snag a young guy as long as she’s still hot.

Reese is still hot, so it’s not like Harry’s really putting his ass on the line.  Further, at one point in the film, Alice goes on a date with a “man her age” and the 40 year old man is presented as a bald, bearded, unemployed, bumbling oaf.  The rub seems to be that women like to complain a lot about how men see them as objects and kick them to the curb when they get older even though its not their fault that time robs them of their beauty. The date with the “man her age” is presented as though Alice is really going to be fucked if she can’t make it work with Harry, otherwise she’ll have to settle for a bald old piece of shit even though, I mean, yeah it’s not like that fucker could have a brain or a heart or a soul because fuck him hair stopped growing on his head.

Men should stop pretending like older women can just will their knockers to not be saggy anymore.  It would just be great if women could stop pretending like older men could will hair back on top of their bald heads.  Let’s just all agree that time fucks us all over real good and agree to be nice to one another in spite of it, OK?

At any rate, the whole issue of May/December love between a young man and an older woman could be explored.  It raises a lot of questions.  What if Harry wants kids?  Alice already has two and she might not have much time left to have another.  Will Alice’s health decline before Harry’s?  Will Harry spend his prime years taking care of a sick old lady?  Harry may be a pretty boy but he has some depth.  He wants to succeed on his own.  Will it be too easy for him to just let Alice take care of him?  Oh wait, she’s a struggling decorator and you’re supposed to ignore her massive house.

What about Alice?  Will Harry understand her point of view when he didn’t live during the time period she grew up in?  Will he be able to understand her in any meaningful way?  Will a woman who has been through it all ever be able to see a babe in the woods just starting out as her true equal?

Getting some answers might have made the movie great, but all of that is glossed over.  Instead, we are offered a rather lazy excuse of a breakup.  A Hollywood hotshot keeps Harry in a meeting to make his movie for a long time, causing him to miss some shindig Alice invites him too.  She’s pissed and feels unloved so she dumps the lad, even though, you know, the average guy watching the movie is like, “Um but he’s in a meeting to make a movie and that like never happens so give the guy a break.” Thus, all of the older woman, younger man issues are left on the floor, unexplored.

So then I thought the point of the movie might be that it is possible to cultivate happiness out of a non-traditional family.  SPOILER ALERT – the film ends with Alice happy to be around the three dudes who are just going to be her friends and he ex-husband who is just going to be her friend.  In true Hollywood style understanding of a relationship, Alice will just be everyone’s friend forever, content to have nothing more out of her young suitor or her ex-husband, and I dunno, I guess she’ll just spend the rest of her life looking for that special romance where the guy shoots fireworks out of his ass and everyday is Mardi Gras.

That’s always been the problem with rom coms.  They just don’t play well in Peoria.  It’s love as understood by Hollywood people who have it all and can afford to navel gaze about their love lives well into eternity.

As for the rest of us, some tired old trailer park broad isn’t going to relate to a rich bitch who dumps a guy because he came home late from his once in a lifetime movie meeting deal.  Maybe if Harry had coldcocked Alice in the face because she drank the last beer and ragged on him for being unemployed, then you know, the average trailer park movie viewer might understand.

The rest of us in the real world gave up on perfect love long ago.  Just give us someone who we’re 95% percent sure isn’t going to stab us in our sleep and they can attend as many late movie deal meetings as they please.

STATUS:  Not-shelf worthy.  I took one for the team and saw it so you don’t have to.  Seriously, don’t take your date to this.  If I were a woman and a man were to take me to this movie I would give him no pussy.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Movie Review – Hot Pursuit (2015)

Reese Witherspoon is short!  Sofia Vergara’s accent is hilarious!

This movie is dumb!

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of a movie so goofy that even the pimply faced teenaged usher asked “Really?” when he ripped the ticket I bought for it.

SPOILERS (if such a concept is possible for a movie like this) AHEAD.

“This is the performance of a lifetime!”

And thus, with a quip said without a straight face during the ending credits blooper reel, Witherspoon totally negates any ability for this reviewer to bust on the film.

This is a throwaway movie, one designed to make you chuckle, something you can check out when you’re bored but not feeling up to the emotional rigamarole of a heavy drama.  I know it, you know it and even the lead actress knows it: don’t take this flick too seriously.

It’s a mild comedy – not so lame that you won’t laugh yet not so raunchy that Grandma can’t enjoy it.  In fact, Aunt Gertie opined that it was a hoot and a half.

(I only brought her because she paid for the popcorn.  My blog stats took a major hit while she was watching this damn thing.)

The setup?  Vergara is the wife of a drug cartel informant who’s agreed to testify against his boss. Witherspoon, a police officer who’s been riding the pine in the evidence lock-up ever since an unfortunate mistake on the job tarnished her reputation, is selected to accompany a U.S. Marshall in transporting the couple to Dallas.

Shots are fired, foul play ensues, and the film turns into a mad cap buddy comedy/road trip romp as it’s up to Witherspoon to get Vergara to safety.

It’s a downgrade for Witherspoon, who we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in acclaimed dramas like the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line or the more recent Cheryl Strayed inspired film Wild.

Arguably, it’s an upgrade for Vergara, as this marks her first top billing in a major feature film.  And while this is a movie I’m not going to rush to watch again anytime soon, there were a few moments where Vergara shines, thus making it known to Hollywood that she has more to offer the world than a pair of miraculous bosoms and a funny accent.

Speaking of Vergara’s signature accent, the film even busts on that in an ironic manner.  Witherspoon uses a heavy Southern accent and at times both characters claim to not be able to understand each other.

I saw this movie so you won’t have to, 3.5 readers.  No thanks necessary.

STATUS:  Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to rush out to the theater to take it in either.  Might be worth a rental.  Might even be the movie that allows Vergara to branch out and take on heavier roles.  Alas, doesn’t earn a coveted spot on the magic shelf.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review – Wild (2014)

SPOILERS AHEAD.

“Cheryl Strayed.”  That’s not only the name of the author of the book Wild, on which the recent movie is based, but it is also the synopsis of the story.

Cheryl was no stranger to hardship.  As a child, she and her mother suffered at the hands of an abusive alcoholic father.  But Cheryl’s mother moved her family away to a farm, where they set up an idyllic life.  At the start of the film, Cheryl and her mother are attending college together – Cheryl doing so after high school while her mother decides to go for her degree later in life.

Alas, the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans.  At age 45, Cheryl’s mother is stricken with cancer and dies.  Cheryl is left to make her own way and does not adjust to the change well.  She cheats on her husband with any man who asks, and turns to hard drugs, even going so far as to inject heroin.  She’s out of control.

An unexpected pregnancy (and though the movie is unclear on it, I assume an abortion), followed by her fed up husband seeking a divorce, prompts Cheryl to go on a quest to clear her mind- to hike the 1,000 mile Pacific Coast Trail.

Needless to say, it’s no easy task.  She starts out with an enormous pack that is heavier than she is, learning along the way to abandon things she doesn’t need.  She loses her boots and duct tapes her feet until she can get some more.  She runs out of water and has to scoop up some from a fly infested puddle and treat it with iodine pills.  One catastrophe after another occurs, but she refuses to stray off the path until she’s reached the end of the trail.

Overall, she finishes the journey having learned a good lesson – don’t stray from a good path and eventually your reward will come.

I’ve heard some comparisons to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love – but the differences are clear, the biggest one being that Gilbert had money, while Strayed was operating on the last of her savings, had nothing by the end of the trip, and often had to beg the kindness of strangers just to get by.

I don’t want to veer (or stray) too far off the path to criticize Gilbert.  (I mean, to each their own, but a man would never be able to pull of a book about how freeing it was to abandon his wife and travel the world).  Personally, in my mind anyway, Strayed’s downfall, spurred by the death of her mother, was a bit more understandable and her quest to get to the point where she could stop beating herself up for past mistakes and rebuild her life was inspiring.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,