Sigourney Weaver in “The Good House” 2021. IMDb photo

Gossip tells us that Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro were set to play Hildy Good, the alcoholic upscale realtor, and ex lover Frank in
Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky’s “The Good House.”

Luckily for us, the solid talent of Sigourney Weaver, who still has the best first name in film land, got the part.

Weaver continues to carry around the kind of power she had in three scary “Alien” movies, and superbly excelled as the awful boss in “Working Girl.”

She luckily came aboard, along with Kevin Kline.

Here in Thomas Bezucha’s screenplay, she, after more than 60 films and three Oscars in the ’80s, stands taller than ever. Kevin Kline as Frank? How lucky can we get?

Here Hildy Good gathers us in the audience and takes us on a walk, while introducing us to the players in her life as they appear.


Hildy has two grown daughters (Rebecca Henderson and Molly Brown) who, like everyone else, are fully aware of their mother’s problem. Hildy ignores the chatter along the old table talk that she is apparently the seventh-generation “witch.”

There is no Kim Novak with a cat cuteness here, it just hangs on as the occasional party ice breaker she compulsively entertains friends with.

Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, Kelly AuCoin and Beverly D’Angelo, all played well, especially old-timer Paul Guilfoyle (“The Morning Show”) as Henry Barlow.

Hildy strides toward us in the sunlight, looking us in the eye and breaking the fourth wall, talks to us. This is a device she will employ throughout, right up close to the end in a dark cellar full of loaded wine boxes and hallucinations.

From the start, Hildy sees that her real estate listings have begun to float down the street to an old, ambitious friend Wendy (Kathryn Erbe) and has wine for lunch and laughs.

Her friends watch her play the “occasional” drinker, who “only” takes “sips” of wine while making dinner.


“Nothing here to see, move along,” she seems to tell us, as she self medicates on nothing stronger than wine, wine, wine and more wine.

Old pro Guilfoyle, a recovering drinker, sits street side sipping cup after cup of four-buck coffee and gently needling Hildy about coming to a “meeting.”

She will continue through the film, turning to us and trying to explain, “It’s only a glass of wine.” We’ve all been there.

Then there is the wonderful, forever glowing Kline as Frank, once her handsome, youthful lover in a relationship now faded into friendship as her life bloomed, and his has grounded into reality.

Frank once had plans, and now, with hair gone as gray as his dreams, he has settled for being the town good guy, who everyone loves and needs, who has never met a sink he couldn’t repair or a lobster he couldn’t catch. Watch Kline, it’s all in his eyes. Oh! Frank has a gift before the credits roll.

Any mid-level actor could have played Frank. Some may wonder why this charming, Oscar winning actor was chosen.


Simple. The story needed a tattered hero with the graceful strength to play the life preserver Hildy would one day need. Kevin is there.

“The Good House” is, finally, a warm inviting film that comes as autumn balm, while action movies burn the world down around us.

It’s well cast, written and directed.

But above all it is Ms. Weaver and Mr. Kline, superb actors playing the every day heroes who fight addiction without a visible cape.

Directors Forbes and Wolodarsky, adapted Ann Leary’s probably better novel, but we’re glad to have it.

“The Good House” opens this week at the Railroad Square Cinema.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.