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TIFF 2021 Review: The Good House – “Weaver revels in breaking the fourth wall”

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A real estate agent in an affluent New England town contends family demands, business rivals, and personal demons with wit and one too many bottles of wine.

After being forced by her family to get treated for alcoholism, Hildy (Sigourney Weaver) seeks to reclaim her real estate career and perhaps rekindle a romance from her teenage years.  The quaint seaside setting is inhabited by an eclectic collection of personalities who the main character interacts with on regular basis and is very familiar with their family histories.

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The beating heart of the story is the relationship between ex-flames portrayed Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline which is made even stronger by avoiding the usual soap opera antics; they do have sex with one another but their connection with one another goes way beyond the bedroom.  Weaver revels in breaking the fourth wall and is a mischievous tour guide through her life. Kline wears his weathered person well and unlike his fellow townspeople is emotionally grounded.

On less stable footing are the cliched family portrayals and the supernatural element that is shoehorned into the narrative in order to justify the ending.  The endless boozy conversations get repetitive and leave one wondering what is the actual point to all of this.  There is nothing wrong with a tonal shift but it comes across as rather abrupt rather than a natural progression.  What is integrated is the music which adds some fun to the proceedings.  Full marks for treating the age of the two leads with respect but the story itself is cobbled together.

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9-18, 2021, and for more information visit tiff.net.    

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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