Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon) is 40, raising two kids, launching an interior design company and living in a beautiful Los Angeles ranch once owned by her late father, who was a film director. Life should be pretty sweet, but she’s feeling empty and alone; her husband is in New York, and their marriage is on hiatus. At a bar one evening, she meets a group of young wannabe scriptwriters—Harry (Pico Alexander), Teddy (Nat Wolff) and George (Jon Rudnitsky)—and they end up as housemates, egged on by Alice’s mother, Lillian (Candice Bergen). Excited about their luxurious new arrangements, the guys make themselves at home—and more than one of them rents space in Alice’s heart as well.
The premise of allowing complete strangers to move in at this stage of life seems a bit implausible, but the result is fun. Not surprisingly, Alice’s daughters take to the new arrivals instantly, and they manage to teach each other some life lessons along the way. The film marks Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s directorial debut.
I thought the gestures and expressions of some of the cast were a little too staged, which inexperienced actors can be forgiven for, but even Witherspoon’s delivery was not very natural at times. And I found the ending flat. But all in all, the film was enjoyable—a fun way to spend an evening.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT? Sure, it’s a pleasant diversion.— J.J.
Viewed at the AMC Esquire Theater.