Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Girl Week Blogathon: Home

Welcome to Day 3 of The Girl Week Blogathon. All week long, we're talking only about movies with female protagonists. This one is a bit of a cheat as the our leading lady is more of a co-lead. However, it's my blogathon so I'll allow it. Please join me in celebrating the ladies this week. Click on the link at the bottom of this post to find out how.

Directed by Tim Johnson.
2015. Rated PG, 94 minutes.
Jim Parsons
Steve Martin
Jennifer Lopez
Matt Jones
April Lawrence
Brian Stepanek

The Boov are on the move. They have been found, yet again by the Gorg. As long as anyone can rememver, the Boov have been running from them. Whenever they catch wind that the Gorg are on the way, the Boov abandon whatever planet they're on and run to a new one. This time they decide to come to Earth. When they get here, they relocate all the humans to one section of the planet and use the rest for themselves. Things are all hunky-dory for them until a Boov named Oh (Parsons) accidentally emails the invitation to his birthday to everyone in the universe, including the Gorg. The Boov want to catch Oh and put him in jail for this crime while simultaneously preparing to switch planets again before the Gorg gets here. Almost forgot, there's one other issue. Oh has run into a human girl oddly named Gratuity (Rihanna). Her nickname is Tip, of course. All of this is too clever by half, feeling like a writer trying really hard to be cute. Anyhoo, Tip was missed in the initial sweep and trying to find her mother. The two trying to help one another ensues.

The most striking thing about Home is its vivid color pallette. Bright and cheery with lots of colors, it's just plain fun to look at. The modified car that zips around the screen, along with floating monuments from around the world, add to the fun. The animation as a whole is pretty solid, giving us a very nice visual experience, scenery wise. Character wise, it's little on the downside as the characters have kind of a dead-eye thing going on with no life behind them. This detracts from what is otherwise a very pleasant looking film.

From a narrative standpoint, the film is driven by Oh, voiced by Jim Parsons. He proves to be up to the task, and gives us a character with the exact opposite character trait that makes his Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory so great. Oh wants desperately to have lots of friends. Since the Boov are a decidedly anti-social bunch, Oh still finds himself in a similar predicament as Sheldon. They are both social misfits. It's something Parsons does well, plus he gets almost all of the film's good lines. The female lead is bit more problematic. Music superstar Rihanna has never been much of an actress. The jury is still out on her as a voice-over performer. She disguises her slight Caribbean accent well enough and is thankfully leagues better than she was in Battleship. That doesn't change the fact that she is horribly miscast. Mainly, she sounds nothing like a little girl. Had I been the only one in my house to notice, I might have chalked it up to me being nitpicky. However, without me saying a word about it, one of my daughters blurted out "She sounds old." This makes it clear that the combination of voice and appearance is a jarring clash instead of a natural mixture.

The issues with Rihanna's performance are not a deal-breaker for me, but a lightning rod for detractors. Otherwise, I'm not sure where the seething hatred for this movie comes from. Seething might not be quite the right word, but it only sits at 45% on The Tomato Meter. I found it funny and pretty entertaining. The whole message about building a friendship despite our differences is too obvious from the beginning, but I'm okay with that bit of predictably. Okay, the whole thing is predictable, but I expected as much going in so it didn't bother me much. I freely admit this is not world-beater, and I'm not trying to pass it off as a masterpiece. I just found it to be a somewhat enjoyable watch.


  1. I never saw this myself, my husband took our son to it and he hated it. I think one of his big issues was the film using music from Rihanna when she was already the lead voice actress - I had a similar complaint with Hotel Transylvania 2 doing it with Selena Gomez. It's just too much.

    1. I dunno. I'm not a fan of that, but I take it as par for the course. I didn't love it, but liked it well enough.