'This Is Where I Leave You' Review Roundup: All-Star Dramedy Gets Mixed Reviews
This Is Where I Leave You, boasting a bona fide all-star cast, chronicles the reunion of estranged siblings who, granting their father’s dying wish, sit shiva together following his funeral.
Based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel, Judd (Jason Bateman), Wendy (Tina Fey), Phillip (Adam Driver) and Paul (Corey Stoll) reluctantly live under the same roof together with their mother Hillary (Jane Fonda) for a week. During the tense seven days, the siblings and their respective significant others share laughs, tears and moments of rage. The movie, directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum), also stars Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Briton, Timothy Olyphant and Dax Shepard
'This Is Where I Leave You' Reviewed
Critics have had mixed reactions to the star-studded comedy drama. Some were left wanting the film to either embrace the comedy more fully, or to take on a more nuanced and introspective approach to the family dynamics at play in This Is Where I Leave You. However, others felt that the film hit the right notes, which was no doubt aided by the talented and seasoned performers that make up its cast.
“A sprawling ensemble dramedy that starts out like a full-tilt sitcom and gradually migrates to a place of genuine feeling. […] This alternately manic and mawkish adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel aims for “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Terms of Endearment” territory and ends up somewhere closer to a Semitic “Home for the Holidays” or “August: Osage County.” But a tremendous ensemble cast gives the pic a significant boost, especially when they’re allowed to act rather than merely act out.” – Scott Foundas, Variety
“With a bench this deep, “This Is Where I Leave You” should have been a comedy of contemporary manners as wickedly funny as it is poignant. In the hands of Levy, it’s become just another forgettable example of low-stakes Hollywood hackwork at its most bland, banal and snipingly belligerent. “This Is Where I Leave You” leaves you wanting — if not more, than at least better and smarter and more honest. The problem, finally, is that it’s not nearly complicated enough.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
“There were times, watching "This Is Where I Leave You," when I thought I wasn't watching a movie, but an extended trailer. Although it's a movie about reflection, there are few quiet moments in it. Instead it's set-up, joke, set-up, joke. The applause lines even have space around them, dead air there for you to fill, as the director pauses — hopefully — for your laugh. It's everything that goes into a movie, except the movie.” – Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger
“I can't think of a family I'd rather sit shiva with than the Altmans of "This Is Where I Leave You." They bury their father, Mort, pun no doubt intended, with the right mix of tears and unearthed resentments, and they take the blows life hands them seriously enough but in stride. As if they are nothing special. This is exactly the charm of Jonathan Tropper's novel on which the comedy/drama is based.” – Betsey Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
This Is Where I Leave You, rated R, is currently in wide release.