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WHAT'S NEW AT THE MOVIES?
Yes, I’d hoped Hallie Meyers-Shyer would deliver the kind of warm and wise romantic comedy her mother used to make (along, of course, with the obligatory house porn) and I guess she tried, but. This not funny or silly enough spin ambles along on its pretty message of baby steps of empowerment, but, as comforting as that is, there’s really nothing else new here.
Reese Witherspoon does her best with a role that’s as ho hum as can be. She’s the well meaning newly single mom who just pretty much can’t say no. After a charmless scene celebrating her “big” birthday, our thoroughly modern mom winds up offering housing to three nice-enough young men, wanna be young filmmakers she picked up at the bar. They are squeaky clean: great cooks, babysitters and inspirations to the daughters who miss a man or three around the house. When Dad, who’s pining away for Mom back in NY, finds out, he hops the first plane. Non-hilarity ensues.
There will be discussion as to the privileged lily whiteness here and, especially in contrast to today’s headlines, that’s not an unreasonable argument. But, Meyers-Shyer made her decisions and has stuck to them. What she left out is that rich white people can be interesting, too, something her mother never forgot in her best work. Here, amidst the soft sheets and half-baked career plans, we never feel very much is at stake, if anything is at all.
For what it is, this is a movie designed to comfort. That’s not such a bad thing, but hopefully next time, Meyers-Shyer will add some real spice to her soothing mug of just warm enough herbal tea.