Jake’s Movie Review: This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You movie poster

“This Is Where I Leave You” showcases how a dysfunctional family comes together to sit Shiva in honor of their late father. (Poster property of Warner Bros)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com


The D-Word.

It is the hardest and emotional parts of the circle of life!

Over the past couple of months, my family has tackled this issue as I lost both of my grandfathers.

One film that I had looked forward to watching after these events were the dramedy This Is Where I Leave You.

Based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel, the film focuses on four quarrelsome siblings: Judd (Jason Bateman), Wendy (Tina Fey), Phillip (Adam Driver) and Paul Altman (Corey Stoll) return to sit Shiva with their mother, Hillary (Jane Fonda), for their recently deceased father.

However, all four Altman siblings brought their dirty laundry home with them. Judd recently separated from his wife, after he discovered to have an affair with his boss (Dax Shepard). Wendy is trapped in a loveless marriage and still has feelings for her childhood friend and former lover, Horry (Timothy Olyphant), Paul and his wife, Alice (Kathryn Hahn), are struggling to conceive and Phillip (the black sheep of the family) is dating his therapist (Connie Britton).

Throughout the seven days, viewers see the family confront their past problems or future predicaments head-on. From revisiting lost love to admitting marital problems, viewers would enjoy watching the situations hysterically or movingly unfold.

I thought that the three best performers in the ensemble were Driver, Fey and Rose Byrne, who played Penny Moore (Judd’s high school interest). Driver wore the black sheep role proudly as he shared some of the film’s best scenes (smoking in the synagogue and confronting Judd’s former boss). Fey, also stole scenes as the sarcastic Wendy as she would make audiences laugh with her zingers and one-liners. Byrne made the role of Penny extremely likeable and made audiences root for her to get-together with Judd.

The only problem that I had with the film was the pacing. There were some scenes that were not necessary and needed to be shortened. Also, I would love to have seen more fiery zingers and more scenes with Jane Fonda.

Final thoughts & grade: This Is Where I Leave You is a good film that showcases how family dynamics change during a loved one’s death. Despite the sometimes slowness of the film, one-liners, sparks and zingers will fly across the screen making this dramedy a must see. A-

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar