So I watched This Is Where I Leave You…
I walked into this movie with great expectations. I saw the trailer, looked at the cast and knew I had to watch this movie. The initial vibe I got from the trailer and from the first few minutes of the movie was reminiscent to films like Dan In Real Life and The Way Way Back. It’s one of those low-cost independent movies about a great story (you can relate to) with an amazing script and a cast that dazzles.
Basic plot: Jason Bateman plays Judd Altman, a man whose life is falling apart – he finds out that wife is cheating on him and his dad dies shortly after. Judd has to go back home for the funeral and has to spend the next seven days with his crazy but loveable family to observe the Jewish custom of shivah.
In these kinds of movies, the actors really need to ne amazing – there are no gags to hide behind, no explosions to draw attention away, all the actors have is a well-written script and their own charm to dazzle you with and these actors DAZZLE you. Every member of the cast brings something to the film that you’ll like. They’re all funny, charming and make you believe that they’re family. Jason Bateman has shown, in his years at Arrested Development, that he knows how to play a member of a dysfunctional family but in this role he adds another layer of charm to his work that I’ve never seen him do before. I love Bateman because he needs very little screen time to put in a memorable performance. In this movie he has plenty of screen time but you never feel bored or ‘get over’ him. He definitely puts in the standout performance.
Tina Fey is here usual sarcastic and quick-witted self and Rose Byrne continues to climb my list of favourite actresses with her charming portrayal of Bateman’s love interest but I think I enjoyed Jane Fonda as the inappropriate, loving mother the most. She stole so many scenes with her one-liners and complete lack of boundaries.
This movie is genuinely funny and heartwarming without being mushy or cliché and this is due to an amazingly written script by Jonathan Tropper. You can also really feel the style of director, Shawn Levy, in this movie. He really lets the actors get their jokes in honestly and doesn’t sully the story with gags or slapstick.
I really enjoyed this movie and it’s probably going to be on my list of top 2014 movies. It shows how complicated and fun family can and should be; I’ve always longed for the fun of tight-knit sibling relationships so I’m always going to love movies where these kind of relationships are present (yes, I’m biased)
Overall, this movie is fun, funny and, most importantly, real. There isn’t exactly a happy ending and everything doesn’t get wrapped up in a neat bow, that’s not how life works, therefore, that’s not how this movie could work. Go watch it with some family or friends, I guarantee you’ll be able to relate to some of it. Worth a trip to the cinema and then some 8/10.