Comedy Drama.  A recently separated and just turned 40 woman has moved across country to the home that her father owned to try build a more stable life for herself and her girls.  Three wannabe film makers are finding it hard to make it in LA, everyone loves their work, but the cash has dried up.  Their lives mix together when the three boys find that the mother of two is the daughter of a director that they all love.  Striking up a relationship between one of the young men, while trying to figure out her relationship with the estranged husband and father of her children, can she build a new life and can everyone be happy?

It’s been a week of massive highs and lowly lows in the world of cinema reviewing.  I’ve been truly bored out of my mind by a film that I should have loved and the very next day shown something that took my breath away with its take on the action genre.  You get weeks like this a few times through the year so it’s fine.  But when you are on an up and down week like this and something is just passable you do look at it with more favourable eyes.  But it’s still a middle of the road film.

Reese Witherspoon plays the recently 40 woman, and I want to give a massive well done to her, there are very few performers out there, any gender, who would play close to their age and show the signs that a middle-aged person would show.  The film starts with an ode to the character’s father, the great director, which just goes nowhere.  That is the main problem of the entire film, there are too many parts of the film that just go nowhere.  Something should have built from that.  When the three struggling lads move in to the guest house on the property it should have awoken some hidden want that she had to be part of the business that provided the house and obvious life that she’s had.  Too many parts of the story go without being evolved.  Lake Bell plays that Hollywood bitch that doesn’t care how she treats people, and it’s a waste of her talent, seriously.

I’m not bashing this film, I’m also not looking at the film through rose-tinted glasses, I left the cinema thinking that this film entertained me.  Not to the point that I would rush out to see this again.  But if I was inclined to take my better half out on a date night to the cinema, this would be up her street more than mine, and finally put to rest that time I took her to see the remake of Friday the 13th on Valentines day a few years back.  Anyway.  It’s a date night movie.

The writing doesn’t explore enough of the characters or flex the talent of the performers that are more than capable of giving more.  Everything also runs pretty much as you expect.  For predictable nonsense though I’ve seen worse.  There is a problem, for me more than most, that I was writing the rest of the film 10 minutes ahead with startling accuracy that I lost interest.

For a fledgling director/writer it’s a good effort, but a more experienced hand would have been able to develop this story into something more.  It is a weak sauce Romantic Comedy that doesn’t make you laugh enough to be memorable, but has enough charm and good performance from Witherspoon, that you can forgive enough.  As I said earlier it’s a date night movie, not for me, I sat through Beauty and the Beast live action this year, so I’m good.  Hopefully for a long time.

Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Writer: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Stars: Nat WolffReese WitherspoonLake Bell & MORE… See full cast & crew


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