Luke Perry in Welcome Home (2015)

There but for the grace of God, go I

Stewart Paylor (Luke Perry) has done all right for himself from the books he has written about his childhood with his father but now the stories have dried up, his publisher wants to see an advance and he has missed a couple of payments on his home. It is on returning to his home from a business trip that he discovers Cassandra Sullivan (Camille Sullivan) a homeless woman with two children has been squatting there whilst he was away. Initially furious and wanting nothing to do with them Stewart eventually tries to help and discovers that his home use to be Cassandra's having lost it after her husband became seriously ill and they could no longer make the monthly payments.

When you pass a homeless person sleeping rough on the street what do you think? Do you try to walk past as quickly as possible without looking or do you think "There but for the grace of God, go I". You may laugh but you would be surprised at how quickly a life can turn from great to lousy when just one thing messes everything up. That is a major part of what "Welcome Home" is about it, it is about highlighting how things can change and how we should be appreciative of what we have and how we are all just one bit of misfortune or illness from are lives being turned upside down.

Now that is what the message of "Welcome Home" is but what we get is what some might call a touchy feely movie as Stewart going from unhelpful to helpful and finding himself caring for Cassandra and her children after letting them move in. And in doing so finds himself understanding more about his father through the way he ends up acting towards Cassandra. Now I am not going to go into much more detail other than to say that by the end Stewart finds himself with a new story and a new appreciation.

What is for certain is "Welcome Home" really allows Luke Perry to channel his laid back nice guy, the real sensitive side to that slight Clint Eastwood persona he has. And it works because Perry is so good at getting the soulful nature of a character but without making it too sappy. But there is also Camille Sullivan who brings a touch of forcefulness to her character which makes Cassandra the missing piece, if you know what I mean.

What this all boils down to is that "Welcome Home" is not only a touching movie but also a touching reminder about how fragile the lives are which we construct. It isn't by any means perfect as some of the characters are flawed but the emotion of the movie is spot on.