This Is Where I Leave You–Movie Review

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4 Stars
This is Where I Leave You poster
This Is Where I Leave You (IMDB) is a comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family. (I should emphasize that the family is “dysfunctional” in the move-comedy sense, not the movie-drama sense. That is, they quarrel a lot but they are all basically decent people.)

This movie did not thrill the critics but I found it quite entertaining, with some excellent performances.

Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) has been having a bad week. First he came home early to surprise his wife (Abigail Spencer) on her birthday, only to find her in bed with his boss (Dax Shepard.) Then he learns that his father has suddenly passed away after a long illness. Then his mother (Jane Fonda) demands that all of the kids come and stay with her for a week to sit shiva (even though none of them are religious.)

The siblings are all a bit messed up, partly because their mother, a celebrity psychologist, published a best-selling book when they were children that revealed all of their most embarrassing secrets. Paul (Corey Stoll) the eldest, is stuffy and uptight. Wendy (Tina Fey) is nurturing and seems sensible but she always seems to have a drink in her hand. Phillip (Adam Driver) is the baby of the family who never really grew up. As for Judd, he’s always been devoted to arranging a perfect, conventional and risk-free life.

Various hijinks ensue and the characters get to have emotional or irresponsible moments, but it all more or less works out. If you’ve seen a few movies of this genre you won’t find anything particularly surprising here. But even though it’s not particularly original it’s quite well done–a solid piece of work.