Our friend Erin Luy went to the movies last night (a real feat!) and saw the much-anticipated This is Where I Leave You. She was kind enough to write a review.
Here it is.
Genre: Drama/Comedy (though I'd argue the comedy portion)
Rating: R--Language and sexual situations
Running Time: 103 minutes
Premise: After the passing of their father, dysfunctional siblings Judd (Jason Bateman), Wendy (Tina Fey), Paul (Corey Stoll), and Phillip (Adam Driver) return to their hometown to mourn with their celebrity author mother (Jane Fonda). Hijinx ensue.
The Good: Jason Bateman. Sadly, he is the only good thing about this potentially wonderful movie with a celebrity-heavy cast. Jason carries the storyline and the other actors on his humbly-muscled shoulders [ed. note: Ha!].
About halfway through, the movie picks up some steam and plays hard to your emotions. Some of the family interactions are touching; however, though I am a terrible sap, I remained unmoved. Jason is great (did I mention that already?), though he strongly resembles a very shaggy dog by the end of the film.
The Bad: Jason Bateman and Tina Fey have great chemistry (though they play siblings), but Tina was somehow stuck with awkward, predictable lines, none of which were funny. Jane Fonda was better than I thought she would be, but that’s not saying much. Adam Driver, apparently of HBO’s Girls fame, was cast to be the comic relief, however falls miserably short (though he is, in actuality, quite tall). I am going to blame the writing. Call me old-fashioned, but swearing in front of children for shock factor, watching a kid poop on his potty chair, and making a million jokes about Jane Fonda’s breast enhancement is not comedy. It is a sloppy attempt to bridge the emotional moments which could have been really powerful. Basically I’m just mad because I thought it was going to be amazing, so I stayed up late to watch it.
Should you see it? Sure. It’s still entertaining, just don’t go with high expectations.
**1/2 out of *****
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