Being a fan of Jason Bateman (primarily because of his hit show “Arrested Development”), I saw “This Is Where I Leave You” and had mixed emotions as I walked out of the theatre. The film is advertised as a comedy, and with complete honesty its not a comedy. It has some laughing moments but is a dark comedy. Which means it has funny portions but then later towards the climax there is no happy resolution. To be honest that works for me because it is nice to see Bateman and the other big name celebrity Tina Fey do a film that is actually serious instead of the goal being to make people laugh.
The movie has many evidence of why the family is dysfunctional. There are four grown siblings and they are Judd Altman (Bateman), Wendy Altman (Fey), Philip Altman (Adam Driver), and Paul Altman (Corey Stoll). All of them have their own issues in their adult life and all of a sudden their father dies. For a week, they need to live under the same roof together in honor of their father. They are forced to by their quirky mother Hilary Altman (Jane Fonda).
As said earlier, all of the siblings have their own issues. These siblings all together for a week leads to tons of other confrontational matters that just shows how life goes with family sometimes. The confrontations will make you want to keep your attention on the movie and not want to turn back.
What I did actually enjoy about this movie is that it is heartfelt. We all face our challenges with our families. Regardless of out of control matters can get in our lives, The Altman’s are probably the most disoriented family you will watch. You will laugh at some of their encounters and cry with some of their encounters.
Finally, the film has decent acting. I like how all of the characters did not break character and kept the tone of the film to be serious. There are numerous times when you think that something good is going to happen, but then later it is generally something negative. That is what keeps your attention to the fullest.
Overall, it is basically a drama with a mix of problems but funny moments rolled up into one. If you want a film that is serious, “This Is Where I Leave You” is worth a viewing. I did not love it. I enjoyed it, but I am up and down about watching it again.
Two and a half stars.