Sunday, September 28, 2014

This is Where I Leave You

Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda
Director: Shawn Levy
Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Rating: R

Films about dysfunctional families tend to either be hilarious or distressing. “This is Where I Leave You” is a bit of both, but with more laughs than tear-jerking scenes. The all-star cast really carries their weight; these are all incredibly strong performances. The film reminds us that we’re put on this Earth to need people - as much as we may try to distance ourselves from those we call “family,” the unconditional bond is steadfast.
Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post
This film is full of eye candy. (Upon first glance, it may not seem like it, but just wait.) The story line most closely follows Jason Bateman, who stars as Judd Altman, a man whose life is turned upside down when he discovers his wife's affair (with the hilarious Dax Shepard) and his father passes away, within just days of each other. Enter siblings Wendy (Fey, at her best since "30 Rock"); Phillip (Driver, who definitely differs slightly from his role on “Girls”); and Paul (Corey Stoll, from "House of Cards"). Quarreling, joking and reminiscing ensues, as each grieve the loss of their father in a different way.

As the matriarch of the Altman family, Jane Fonda’s breast implants steal more scenes than she does. As does Timothy Olyphant in a supporting role as Wendy’s long-lost love, the one that got away. Seriously, what a babe. Wendy’s brief indiscretion with him isn't the only fling that takes place during the family's Shabas: Judd reunites with high school crush Penny (Rose Byrne) and is torn between just wanting to get back at his deceitful wife and his genuine feelings for this girl. Connie Britton is freaking beautiful as Phillip’s shrink-turned-girlfriend. We see how she easily falls for this tall drink of water, big ears and all, but as the self-described “family screw-up,” we want so badly for him to just grow up. 

I loved this film. The dialogue seemed natural, though a bit heavy in some scenes. As a fan of all these actors, it’s a fun hour and 43 minutes to spend with them.

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