Sigourney Weaver stars in a story that deals honestly with alcoholism, “The Good House.”
Based on Ann Leary’s novel, the movie avoids sensationalistic plot twists. Instead, the drama evolves naturally, and Ms. Weaver makes her character, real-estate agent Hildy Good, likable but flawed. What’s more, there’s natural chemistry between Ms. Weaver and Kevin Kline, who plays possible love interest Frank Getchell in this story set in a New England town (but filmed in Nova Scotia, Canada).
In “The Good House,” Hildy faces the challenges of a struggling business as she competes with another real estate agent, Wendy Heatherton (Kathryn Erbe). Hildy also faces family issues as the divorced mother of grown daughters Tess (Rebecca Henderson) and Emily (Molly Brown), who believe they’ve convinced their mother to stop drinking after an intervention in Hildy’s living room.
Hildy narrates the story by turning away from the other characters at times and speaking directly into the camera. It’s effective in this film, and Ms. Weaver shows all of her character’s strengths and weaknesses.
“The Good House” has its funny moments, but it’s also poignant as it shows the perilous path Hildy is taking as she continues to drink secretly. But thanks to Ms. Weaver’s acting and directors Maya Forbes’ and Wallace Wolodarsky’s work, viewers are rooting for Hildy to somehow realize she needs help to stop drinking.
There are some intriguing elements to the story. For example, Hildy is the descendant of a witch (this is New England) and has an uncanny ability to read people’s minds, but the question is whether she is simply clever or truly psychic. The question becomes more important as “The Good House” continues.
The movie features a good cast, including Morena Baccarin as Hildy’s friend Rebecca McAllister, Rob Delaney as psychiatrist Peter Newbold, David Rasche as Hildy’s ex-husband Scott and Beverly D’Angelo as Mamie Lang.
“The Good House” also benefits from its straightforward narrative. It’s a good story with a well-defined beginning, middle and end, and the filmmakers have put the focus where it belongs, on the characters.