This Is Where I Leave You is a drama/comedy, it’s based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Tropper. The film is directed by Shawn Levy. The film revolves around a family of four siblings who have just lost their father. Their mother grounds them all in the house they grew up in for a week of sitting Shiva, as a last request from their father. Cue the whackyness.
The good; I love (most) all the actors that are in this movie, but boy what a cast; Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Bryne, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Ben Schwartz and Jane Fonda. Everyone in this film is sort of known for their comedic acting, but they balance the humor with the drama very nicely.
The plot point of a death in the family is the impetus to get this rolling, which is a common trope, but once we get to know the members that make up this family, a death is what was needed to bring them all together. Speaking further on that, each character is relate-able in some fashion or another. I easily found myself in each of these characters at one point during the course of the movie.
Levy does a great juggling the ensemble cast, allowing for each character to breath and react to one another.
The bad; again, the use of a death that brings people together. It’s a tried and true method, so why am I complaining? Cause families usually get together only at weddings and funerals right? Sure that’s probably true for us today, but in a piece of fiction why not make it different? That way we’d have life imitating art, and vice versa.
The film crosses over in to the realm of too sappy at times, but it doesn’t linger in that space for too long.
Adam Driver’s face is huge.
Overall, I had an enjoyable experience, a lot of stuff was predictable, or the set up was there so you shouldn’t be surprised by the payoff, but I walked out of the theatre thinking about my family. I guess that’s more of a criticism on the uneducated movie watcher, there’s just so many of them these days… sheesh.
I would recommend this drama.