There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Alice (Reese Witherspoon) is in the process of getting through the end of her marriage. Her husband (Michael Sheen) works in the music industry and is never home. He is out partying and socializing with potential clients while Alice is stuck at home taking care of their two children. Alice decided that their marriage is over and has moved back to her parent's old house where she now lives with her two daughters. In a night out with her friends, Alice finds herself at a bar, chatting with a much younger man named Harry (Pico Alexander). Harry and his friends then join Alice and her friends for a night of drinking and dancing.
Before long, the group find themselves at Alice's house where Alice and Harry end up sleeping together. The next morning, Alice's mother brings Alice's children home early where they come face to face with Harry and his friends. When she learns that Harry and his friends are aspiring filmmakers (like her father), Alice invites the guys to stay in her guest house until they land on their feet. Alice then struggles to balance her career, her family, her guests, and her new romance. As if things were not already complicated, Alice's husband suddenly shows up at the house and decides he wants to be a part of the family again.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Reese Witherspoon (+5pts)
George & Teddy (+4pts)
Michael Sheen (+3pts)
The Writing (-10pts)
Pro: Reese Witherspoon (+5pts)
This film was very far from perfect. The writing was so poor that it makes the movie boring, but I will get into that later. Despite this film's many issues, Reese Witherspoon had just enough likability to make the film tolerable. Was this a fantastic, Oscar worthy performance? No, not even close, but Reese Witherspoon had a pretty decent screen presence. She felt relatable even though—on paper—the character should not have been. Reese Witherspoon's performance did not make up for all of the film's issues, but her performance was enough to keep me going, hoping it would get better.
Con: Harry (-8pts)
Oh, I really hated this character. Harry—played by Pico Alexander—was the love interest for Reese Witherspoon. Now I do not quite know who to blame for the poor execution of this character on-screen. Was it the writers, the director, the actor, or a combination of the group? I am not so sure, but the result was an extremely unlikable, uncharismatic, and even sometimes pervy character.
The character was very cocky, which made him unlikable. He had terrible on-screen chemistry with Reese Witherspoon, and no charisma whatsoever. The main reason I did not like Harry, was the perviness that radiated from the character throughout the film. He would stare at Reese Witherspoon and say things to her in such a creepy way. It honestly reminded me of how Anakin Skywalker interacted with Padme in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. It was so creepy and I really do not think I would have been that surprised if the movie went for a plot twist that resulted in Harry being a serial killer. Throughout this movie, the character—who was an integral part of the story—was either bland or pervy, and the movie suffered for it.
Pro: George & Teddy (+4pts)
Teddy, played by Nat Wolff, was definitely the third most important character that was living in Alice's guest house. Of the three guys, he got the least character development. However, Nat Wolff brought life to the role and made Teddy feel like he belonged in the film. The character had very little to do in the story, so the writers made him an expert at web page design so that he could contribute in some way. It really felt like a plot device, but I forgave it because whenever the movie focused on Teddy, it meant that the film was not focusing on Harry.
Then there was George—played by Jon Rudnitsky. While he was a secondary character, George brought a ton of heart and meaning to this movie. It was almost as if the writers of this film were told that they could only give proper development to one character, and—for some reason—they chose George. George was a writer, and a good one. He formed a strong, mentor-style bond with one of Alice's daughters and went on a journey of self-discovery as he had to take a hard look at his career and his significance as a writer. Was the writing and character development for this character perfect? No, but it was stronger than it was for any other character in the movie.
Con: Chemistry (-4pts)
I have already touched on this, but the chemistry between its characters was a huge problem for this movie. Harry just had the on-screen charisma of a wet brick. I do not think the blame lies solely on the actor, but the film suffered from Reese Witherspoon having better chemistry with Michael Sheen—the man she was supposed to be "getting over"—than she did with her main love interest of the story. Audiences should be rooting against Michael Sheen's character—or should at least have been conflicted between the two love interests—but it was difficult to do so when Harry and Alice had such terrible chemistry together. To make things even worse, Alice had better chemistry with Teddy and George than she did with Harry. The plot of this story hinged very heavily on Alice's complicated relationship with Harry, but the casts' chemistry with one another was such a confusing mess that it caused the entire story to fall apart.
Pro: Michael Sheen (+3pts)
Michael Sheen was supposed to be playing the film's antagonist, but he was so much more entertaining to watch than the rest of the cast. As a result, he quickly became one of the film's highlights. He had good chemistry with Reese Witherspoon and made his character feel really sincere. His character was poorly written, but Michael Sheen brought some life to an otherwise dull and ridiculous movie.
Before Michael Sheen's character made his first appearance, the plot of the movie felt very generic and uninteresting. This went on for way too long, but when Michael Sheen entered the equation, the story suddenly became a lot more compelling—almost like it was suddenly a completely different movie. His character had a natural rivalry with the three guys and had a natural interest in rejoining Alice and his children. In a film full of poorly written and generic characters, Michael Sheen—with his talent and charisma—was able to add much needed depth to the story.
Con: The Writing (-10pts)
I will keep this point brief because I have already mentioned it a few times, but this movie had terrible writing—which is crazy when you realize how much of the plot focused on the concept of film writing. The plot was severely generic, the characters were severely one-dimensional, and the ending was severely unjustified. When I say that the ending was "unjustified", I mean that the filmmakers set up conflict between characters only for that conflict to vanish without any real resolution or confrontation. The film's characters talk about film writing a lot which was unintentionally amusing. In a film with such a poorly written script, it seemed like the characters cared more about good writing than the filmmakers did.
Grade: D+ (65pts)
I do not want to waste any more of your time or mine on this movie, as it was not a good movie at all. Reese Witherspoon and Michael Sheen were the better parts of the film, but they were not nearly enough to make up for such poor writing. The characters were generic and underdeveloped, the main love interest came across as bland and pervy, the chemistry between the cast was a confusing mess, and the plot was weak and ridiculous. The film had a few good moments, but for the most part, it was an uneventful and uninteresting story with only a few entertaining moments.
Movie Beasts (author) from MA on September 26, 2017:
Thank you for your feedback!
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 26, 2017:
Thanks for sharing your review. It was entertaining to read. I think I'll give this film a miss. =)