September 28, 2014

Movie Review: This is Where I Leave You

There are many who would question my decision to go and see This is Where I Leave You. By and large they would be right to raise the question. While at times I do a pretty good job of avoiding certain movies, other times I am sitting through it before I even realize what is happening. I am pretty sure that is what happened here, or I was blinded by a cast that includes Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. You have to admit, that would seem to be a great pairing, plus, add in a supporting cast that has Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Adam Driver, and Kathryn Hahn, and you are looking pretty good. Just set aside whatever your feelings are for Jane Fonda.

The movie follows the Altman family, specifically, Judd Altman (Jason Bateman). Judd comes home from work early to surprise his wife, only to find her in bed with his boss (Dax Shepard). So, with a disintegrated marriage and no job, Judd gets the call from his sister, Wendy (Tina Fey), that their father has died. This leads to family matriarch (Jane Fonda) informing the four siblings, with loose cannon Phillip (Adam Driver) and straight laced Paul (Corey Stoll), that they will obey their father's last wish that they sit Shiva for the traditional seven days.

Obviously, this is just an excuse to get all these people in the same room and see all of their problems and insecurities play out. It is not exactly a bad movie, but it is a familiar one. It is also one that never really feels complete. Things feel too convenient and none of it is really wrapped up, sure the stories end, but do you really think they are? At least they have an excuse to not be working.

This is Where I Leave You is a movie that really doesn't need to exist. It may not be terrible, but that is more due to the cast and their ability to make the coincidence seem natural than it is for the quality of writing and direction. I think that Shawn Levy was not the best of choices to helm this sort of thing, as the tendency seems to defuse real emotion with something goofy or silly or just ridiculous.

I know there are people that eat this stuff up, but it really isn't me. No, not terrible, but nothing that really needs to be seen.

Not Recommended.

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