Hard to Care for Freeman’s Homecoming, or Mischa Barton’s Film Career


Either director Morgan J. Freeman (Hurricane, Desert Blue) has said his piece on the subject of young-adult dysfunction, or he’s just a hack for hire on this creaky boilerplate of a bad seed thriller, written by Katie L. Fetting with a seemingly insatiable appetite (“Look what you made me do”) for genre cliché. If nothing else, Homecoming should effectively squelch any movie-star ambition on the part of Mischa Barton, though the camera is more than usually attentive to her cleavage. Barton alternately glares and simpers as Shelby, a small-town barkeep so incensed by the return of her ex (Matt Long) with his shiny new girlfriend (Jessica Stroup) that she will stop at nothing—nothing!—to repossess her athlete hero. Glued together with shards from much better movies, the humorless plot offers no mystery about who’s doing what to whom, or why. Behind every bad girl is a rotten mother; beneath every good girl is a vengeful tiger; and I’d call misogyny were it not for the fact that the script takes such a dim view of all the characters, including the drippy object of the catfight, a hometown hero so dull of wit and void of spark that you have to wonder why the ladies bothered in the first place.