This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

dir. Shawn Levy  starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, and Jane Fonda

If you are expecting showy, Oscar-worthy performances, dark family secrets, severely damaged characters, or even broad comedy look elsewhere.  I don’t understand the harshly negative reviews.  It’s about a dysfunctional family that gathers together after the death of the father.  The story is predictable and the dramatic set pieces, big moments, feel a little contrived.  However, it’s a pleasure to watch the actors chew the scene.

There’s a lot of talent here and the actor’s play well off each other.  There isn’t much to say, because there aren’t many surprises.  Jason Bateman is exasperated and sarcastic in that Michael Bluth way.  Tina Fey is smart and dry in that Liz Lemon way.  The hijinks and antics play out predictably amusing, but not shocking.  The “shocking” revelations will only shock those who have never watched a movie before.  However, a trite story doesn’t detract from the good performances.

Recommend: Yes. It’s a well acted and bittersweet family dramedy.

Availability: DVD and Blu-ray, Redbox, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes

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