This is Where I Leave You review

Director:
Shawn Levy
Cast:
Jason Bateman
Tina Fey
Jane Fonda
Adam Driver
Corey Stoll
Rose Byrne
Rated: R

Jason Bateman plays Judd in “This is Where I Leave You,” a down on his luck man who lost his job, finds out his wife is cheating on him, and learns that his father has died all within the same short time period. This brings him back to his home town where he has to once again interact with his two brothers, sister and mother.

He soon finds out that his father’s last wish was for everyone to live together under one roof for a week and interact. Through that, the family begins to learn that they each are living with their own problems.

There are plenty of subplots going on in “This Is Where I Leave You, but unfortunately since most of the focus is on Bateman’s character, not much time is left to fully develop them and they are left seemingly unfinished at the film’s finale.

On top of character arcs not being fully fleshed out, the movie also seemed obsessed with being as quirky and off base as possible. From one of the brothers playing loud rap music while driving up late to his dad’s funeral to a “twist” at the end that came out of nowhere, offered nothing to the story and was put in just to shock the audience.

There was a lot of talent here in the cast, but unfortunately it wasn’t used to the best potential. All of the characters were written as being too “Hollywood.” None of the family members came off as being real. Them and their drama just felt a bit forced.

Jason Bateman might have been the weakest part of the whole flick. It just felt as if he was playing up the same persona that he always does. In some cases, that can be a good thing, but here it just comes off as a little dull.

There are a few funny moments and some emotional scenes were done well, but overall, “This Is Where I Leave You” comes across as very forgettable. It felt as if the filmmakers were more focused on putting in too many Hollywood tropes instead of creating an honest family comedy. 2 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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