Review: This Is Where I Leave You

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Title: This Is Where I Leave You
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins

What It Is: The patriarch of the Altman family has past. This could not be a worse time for his middle son Judd (Bateman) who just found his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) cheating on him with his radio show boss (Dax Shepard). Judd’s mother has said that his father last wish was to have his children and wife (Jane Fonda) sit shiva. This could prove disasterous as the eldest son Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn) are struggling to have children, Wendy (Fey) the only daughter has potty training toddler and an absent husband, lastly the family screw up and youngest sibling Phil (Driver) has brought home his therapist/girlfriend Tracy (played by Connie Britton). What could possibly go wrong with all these family members under one roof? Well that’s the thrill of it isn’t it.  

What We Think: I found this hilarious, to an extent. As you can see it has an all-star cast, and even the smallest character is filled with a great actor. But, with so many characters the plot takes short cut to seem less convoluted. Too much going on here really hurts the stock of this film. I kind of wish they’d have cut quite a few of the subplots here and stuck to the family dynamic as that was some of the best stuff in the film. Too much focus on Judd’s struggles really doesn’t help since Judd’s not all that build up. In fact that’s the biggest problem we don’t care enough about the characters to care about their struggle.

Our Grade: C+, Adam Driver absolutely steals this thing. This guy is really building a great resume. Just this month I’ve seen 4 films including this one with him in it. In addition he’s scheduled to be in the gigantic upcoming film Star Wars: Episode VII. My father died a few years ago, and there’s certain parts that pulled at me as I still miss him despite the time that’s past. Those are some of my favorite parts of this comedy. That human element. It felt as though that part got tossed away to cash-in on a cheap happy ending.

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