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Non-Review Review: Home Again

Home Again is an attempt at a classic screwball comedy where anything resembling a hard edge has been softened to a smooth felt.

Writer and director Hallie Meyers-Shyer is clearly hoped to construct an old-school Hollywood farce, centring on a relatively recently singled mother who finds her world turned upside down when three handsome young strangers move into her guest house down the end of her garden. Naturally, Alice Kinney cannot anticipate how quickly these three young aspiring film makers will disrupt her family life, but the situation quickly escalates in a relatively unthreatening manner.

Home Again has a solid premise and a charmingly committed performance from Reese Witherspoon, but the movie feels far too gentle to really work. There is something strangely bloodless about Home Again, which means that the movie often struggles to get its own pulse racing. There is a sense that Home Again is far too worried about the possibility of offending anyone, even its own characters. Home Again is a film full of selfish, shortsighted and manipulative characters, but it never allows them to embrace those qualities in a way that might threaten the happy ending.

Home Again feels far too comfortable in itself to really work.

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The X-Files – Home Again (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

If Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster demonstrates the strengths of this six-episode miniseries format, then Home Again makes a case for the weaknesses.

Home Again is not a bad episode of itself. However, it does suffer from two glaring weaknesses of the revival format. The most obvious is that the revival is only six episodes long, which means that everything is truncated and reduced. This was quite clear in My Struggle I, which was essentially a mythology two- or three-parter with all the non-exposition bits cut out. However, it is also clear with Home Again, which feels like two great episodes that have been combined to form one good episode.

"This one has a monster in it."

“This one has a monster in it.”

Glen Morgan is also the weakest director of the four directors working on the revival miniseries. Morgan is a phenomenal writer, but he lacks the stylistic flourish of Chris Carter or the dynamism of James Wong. He does not tailor the script for Home Again to suit his directorial sensibilities in the way that Darin Morgan does with his scripts for Jose Chung’s “Doomsday Defense” or Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me. Morgan is a good director, but one of the most under-appreciated ingredients of The X-Files was its murderer’s row of great television directors.

As a result, Home Again is an episode that is much stronger on paper than it is on camera.

"Mulder and Scully, FBI."

“Mulder and Scully, FBI.”

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