Dysfunctional Family Movie This Is Where I Leave You Funny, Poignant

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This Is Where I Leave You



The dramatic comedy “This is Where I Leave You” is directed by Shawn Levy, and based on the hilarious and poignant best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper. It features a starring ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”); Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Tina Fey (“30 Rock”); and two-time Oscar (R) winner, multiple Golden Globe honoree and 2013 Emmy Award nominee Jane Fonda (“Klute,” “Coming Home,” HBO’s “The Newsroom”). (c) Warner Bro



There is a lot I liked in This Is Where I Leave You. It isn’t perfect but the cast works well together in a believable way. There are many laughs with quite a few melodramatic twists. It becomes unbelievable at times, but the slow plot reveals makes the family comedy-drama interesting. The best way to describe This is Where I Leave You from other movies: It is like a comedic, blue state August: Osage County or more appropriately The Family Stone with even big revelations and a fight settled out in the lawn a la Crazy, Stupid Love. I am pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed This is Where I Leave You is. The expectation of Oscar contender isn’t fair. This is more like a Golden Globe contender.


With this and Cheaper by the Dozen, filmmaker Shawn Levy thrives on directing a big cast in a high wire, dysfunctional family. I shouldn’t admit this as an art house loving critic/snob, but if he has something going good stick with it. Jason Batemen and Adam Driver were a hoot. The movie is a smooth big screen transition for Tina Fey who has struggled with other movies in the past (Baby Mama, Admission). Connie Britton isn’t fully utilized here as she should be. Playing Driver’s girlfriend, many of the Friday Night Lights fanboy fantasy is fulfilled by dating a younger man. To my shock, my favorite performance (because it caught me off guard) was Jane Fonda. She was the crazy mother handling various issues. People who deal with the drama of a large family will appreciate a movie like This is Where I Leave You.


As other critics seemed to be put off by the movie, know it is better than the consensus. This happens with a crowd pleaser! And this one is. There were a half a dozen applause moments from audience as the crowd really got into it. The laughter was consistent and not forced. Now the movie is far from perfect and I’m only giving this a marginal recommendation based on how much I liked it. Regardless of the reaction, This is Where I Leave You will continue to division between audience and critics…just like the dysfunctional family gathering together and having to put up with each other.


I rate This Is Where I Leave You a 7 out of 10



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About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding.He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.