Movie Review: This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Comedy, Drama
Tags: ,

this is where i leave you

Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) works as a producer in a radio station.  He wants to surprise his wife, Quinn (Abigail Spencer) on her birthday.  Instead, Judd finds Quinn sleeping with his boss, Wade Beaufort. (Dax Sheppard) As if that wasn’t enough, Judd’s sister, Wendy (Tina Fey) calls Judd to tell him that their father just died.  Judd’s mother, Hillary (Jane Fonda) insists that the family sit shivah  for seven days, even though the family is not particularly religious.   The family gathers, there’s Paul, (Corey Stoll) the elder  brother, who wants to take over the family sporting goods store, and who is having trouble conceiving a child with his wife, Annie. (Katheryn Hahn) Wendy, who brings her son and reunites with a boyfriend, Horry (Timothy Olyphant)  rendered brain damaged in a car accident, and Phillip (Adam Driver) the playboy, who can’t settle down.  Will this family find answers to their issues, and will they learn to put up with each other for seven days?

This is a dramedy, part drama, part comedy.  The drama does not seem very realistic, the comedy is not very funny.  The jokes are juvenile, potty, sex and drug jokes.  This is supposed to be a grown-up film?  No it is not. The situations seem contrived, and even a twist involving Judd can’t bring this moribund script to life. The worst thing about this movie is that the resolution of each of the characters issues is not satisfying in the least.  Jane Fonda’s character’s denouement is a cliché and it’s trendy.  A trendy cliché. And her conflict resolution is the most complete. That’s the problem with this movie after 110 minutes, there’s no payoff.

I like these actors, but they all could have chosen a better script than this.  I like Jason Bateman, put him in movies like Horrible Bosses or Extract and he is really funny. He is great at being a straight man, but in this, he just seemed like he was being tortured.  I love Tina Fey on 30 Rock, but she has not found a good movie since the end of 30 Rock, if this is the best she can do, she better write one for herself.  Jane Fonda cannot do comedy,  it’s that simple She tries too hard to be funny.  She overplays it every time.  That’s what the supporting cast did, they all overplayed their roles, and that made a not so funny movie even less funny.

The movie just seemed to go on and on, the pacing was awful. He didn’t get any good performances from some really good actors, so it’s a bad job of editing, and giving direction to the actors.

This is Where I Leave You:  The old Bate-man and switch

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