Published on September 19th, 2014 | by Joseph Saulnier0
This is Where I Leave You
This is Where I Leave You focuses on Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) and his relationships with the many personalities in his family. We open the film with Judd walking in on his wife in bed with his boss. We flash forward about 3 months to find Judd feeling pretty miserable still, only to find out that his father passed away. And his father’s last wish is that his family sit Shiva (a Jewish tradition of mourning where the close relatives of the deceased sit for 7-days in the same house, as friends and family come by to offer their condolences. (There’s more to it than this, but it’s the general idea). Over the 7-days following the funeral, a rollercoaster of emotions, excitement and tragedy pass.
This film, in my opinion, is very smartly written. It has the qualities in a film that will attract men and women alike. They also create an atmosphere that most people can relate to. It’s simplistic formula really, there are enough siblings to exhibit the different personalities you can find in most families and no matter who you are, you will find someone to relate to in the cast. And, oh boy, what a cast. Judd’s siblings include Corey Stoll, Adam Driver and Tina Fey. Rounding out the close friends and family include Jane Fonda as mama Altman, Rose Byrne as Penny Moore, Connie Britton as girlfriend of Philip Altman (Driver), Timothy Olyphant as Horry, a man with brain damage who has a secret shared with one of the Altmans, and the list goes on and on (go look it up on IMdB already).
The premise is old, cliché jokes are used, and we all know how it ends. However, we don’t really know how it ends. The cast delivers so well that you can see past the recycled items to the true genius that this film is, and how great an adaptation it is from the book. While I haven’t read the book myself, I have been told it’s quite good. And if it’s half as good as this film, I’m definitely going to enjoy reading it.
Bottom line: if you’re looking for a great date movie this weekend, this is the one to see. You will not regret it, and will probably learn a little something about yourself too! This is another to add to my collection upon release.
4 stars out of 5