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De­signs for life af­ter 40…

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CER­TIFI­CATE 12A DI­REC­TOR Hal­lie Mey­ers-Shyer STAR­RING Reese Wither­spoon, Michael Sheen, Candice Ber­gen SCREEN­PLAY Hal­lie Mey­ers-Shyer DIS­TRIB­U­TOR STX Entertainment RUN­NING TIME 97 mins

Seems like you’ve got it all,” Alice Kin­ney’s en­vi­ous best friend tells her, “child care, tech sup­port and sex.” Alice (Reese Wither­spoon), re­cently sep­a­rated from her NY hus­band (Michael Sheen), has moved back to her na­tive LA with her two young daugh­ters and is try­ing to launch her ca­reer as a de­signer. Out cel­e­brat­ing her fortieth with two girl­friends, she en­coun­ters three young, as­pir­ing film­mak­ers newly ar­rived in the city – and soon, with a lit­tle nudg­ing from her mum (Candice Ber­gen), all three are in­stalled in her sum­mer­house.

It doesn’t hurt that the ac­tor Teddy is an IT whiz, the writer Ge­orge is great with kids and the would-be di­rec­tor Harry – well, the age dif­fer­ence be­tween him and Alice doesn’t seem to worry ei­ther too much. So, it’s all hunky­dory un­til her hus­band shows up, suit­case in hand…

This de­but fea­ture from Hal­lie Mey­ers-Shyer (daugh­ter of It’s Com­pli­cated writer/di­rec­tor Nancy Mey­ers, pro­duc­ing) show­cases a neatly gauged per­for­mance from Wither­spoon, not least in her spar­ring with Ber­gen. Sheen is ex­cel­lent as al­ways, while there’s fine sup­port from the younger guys – es­pe­cially Jon Rud­nit­sky as Ge­orge. The only dis­ap­point­ment is the glib end­ing, which wraps things up rather too neatly.

THE VER­DICT

A di­vert­ing so­cial com­edy with a hint of depth from de­but di­rec­tor Mey­ers-Shyer, with Wither­spoon on top form.

Reese had just heard Big Lit­tle Lies 2 was a goer…

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