The trailer was enough to get me to see this movie. It just looked different, you know? Good different: single mother trying to start over, ends up sharing a house with three much younger men…
Of course, in this case “single mother” doesn’t mean struggling (she’s the daughter of a super-successful movie producer and therefore probably has no idea what welfare is) and the three young guys are gorgeous and not potential serial killers. But it’s still different.
Like most movies billed as”RomCom”, it’s not actually all that funny. Or rather, the humour is in the situation, not so much in the script. There are funny moments, but no more than you get in movies that don’t have “comedy” in the genre label. But I love Reese Witherspoon in almost anything, I love Michael Sheen, and this was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.
Reese Witherspoon is Alice, newly split from husband Austen (Sheen) and she’s living in the house (mansion?) she inherited from her father trying to get her life back together. Not that her life is particularly apart: she has no money problems, her kids are better adjusted than most, she is basically playing at wanting a career while waiting for her husband to decide to move to LA so they can get back together. She also has loads of similarly wealthy friends and gets on great with her mom. Talk about First World Problems!
On her fortieth birthday she goes to dinner with her girlfriends, gets drunk and gets friendly with three much younger guys who are in LA hoping for their big break in the movie biz. She almost has sex with one of them but he throws up so instead she does laundry while he sleeps in her bed. (Sounds a lot like my sex life, huh? Except I don’t look as good as my gal Reese.)
Anyhow, through a somewhat unlikely chain of events Alice consents to the trio moving in to her “guest house”. Turns out one of the trio, George (Jon Rudnitsky) is a huge fan of her daddy’s movies, which I guess helps. It also turns out that between the three of them they have all the necessary qualities to be a perfect surrogate dad to her kids, while she gets to have essentially a gigolo…but we won’t call it that because this is a family movie.
Then the not-yet-ex-husband turns up and things get briefly tense. There is a scene where he starts explaining how his wife has no mind of her own and one of the boys punches him; it turns into a fight so girly I thought one of them was going to start hair-pulling. And there are a few serious beats as the boys sort through their own issues and learn that friends and family are the best.
That sounds awfully cynical, doesn’t it? Here’s the thing: it’s just that type of movie. No one has real problems, there’s no real threat, it’s all terribly wholesome and sincere. And sometimes that is exactly what I need. When it is, this will be near the top of my list.
But for now, I think I need a horror movie as a palette cleanser.