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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews This is Where I Leave You

October 21st, 2014 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

This Is Where I Leave You (15)
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey & Jane Fonda
Running time: 103 min

When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

When Judd (Jason Bateman) receives word that his father has passed away, his life is already in a downward spiral. He caught his wife with his boss who admitted that the affair had been going on for a year and he has also lost his job.

Meeting up with his Mum (Jane Fonda), his two brothers and his sister, he has been giving the worst news he could ever imagine. He and his family must perform a Jewish ritual where they mourn their loved one; that means they must ALL reside with each other for seven days. With a week that will surely feel like a month, all of the siblings – and their families included – will discover hidden feelings and truths and perhaps realise that they have all missed each other more than they ever knew.

This is Where I Leave You is a family drama that plays out fairly well in that it has all of the family characters displaying and discovering each other’s secrets. True, that almost all of the secrets revolve around love and/or lust, but this is pretty much expected.

There are few standout performances as this is clearly an ensemble film, though Jane Fonda certainly portrays the loud-mouth, no holds barred mother character with a certain relish. Whilst she may have most of the film’s witty punchlines, a number of these are more cringing than laughable and it will certainly resonate with any child, young or old, who has had an embarrassing moment caused by their parent.

They say that all families have their own type of disfunctionality and this move certainly plays out a number of them. Whilst it thankfully doesn’t play the sympathy card too often, there are a number of touching moments that lift this movie from the melodramatic to a fairly enjoyable experience.

If you are after more substance than scares this Halloween, this is is certainly a film that may lift those autumn spirits a little.

3 out of 5 Nerds

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.