From the director of Cheaper by the Dozen, The Internship and Night at the Museum films, comes another comedy with heart. This is where I leave you doesn’t scream blockbuster hit but if you enjoy a nice story around family ties this could just be for you. Based on the novel with same title by Jonathon Tropper and who also wrote the screenplay. The film stars quite a impressive line up of actors including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Connie Britton, Dax Shepard, Kathryn Hahn and Corey Stroll.
The film begins with Jason Bateman’s character Judd Altman who comes home from work to surprise his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) with a birthday cake only to find her in bed with his boss (Shepard). Feeling alone and depressed, Judd receives a phone call from his sister Wendy and she breaks the news that their Dad has just passed. Fast forward to a few days later and it’s the funeral. This is where you get introduced to the rest of the siblings: Wendy (Fey), Paul (Stroll) and Phillip (Driver). As part of their father’s last dying wish, the family is forced to live under the same roof for seven days to conduct the Jewish ritual of sitting Shiva along with their over-sharing mother (Fonda), partners and children.
This is where I leave you isn’t overly hilarious. Although, one funny on-going joke was the adorable toddler who is learning how to potty train and carries around his chamber pot everywhere. Then there’s Paul’s wife, Annie (Hahn) who desperately wants a baby and makes him have sex whenever she’s ovulating. Some gags worked and others didn’t. The overall cast did a great job carrying the work while showing a range of emotions and providing the audience with pretty decent acting.
Fonda’s role as Hillary the mother was definitely my favourite character by far. Hillary wrote a book years ago about her family revealing their secrets and embarrassing details which everyone is still not pleased about. She tries to stay ‘hip’ with her new boobs that can hardly be contained in clothing and demonstrates how open-minded a woman can be.
Separated by life and it’s complications. The family must find a way to survive the week, while reminding each other of what’s important, some good ol’ bonding even if it means getting a little rough or crazy. There are some surprises along the way and revelations were made. This is where I leave you is not one of the best movies to come out this year but is still very enjoyable. Take a trip down memory-lane with the Altman’s as they look back on their past and their beloved father.
This is where I leave you is still showing in selected cinemas around Australia.
Original review on Novastream.com.au