This Is Where I Leave You

2014-10-16 23:29
What's it about:

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humour, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving them crazy even as they remind them of their truest, and often best, selves.

What we thought:
Time and time again we’ve seen the dysfunctional family plot in Hollywood movies and while the plot isn’t new, there is something very refreshing about This Is Where I Leave You.

Unlike the absolutely devastating August Osage County, This Is Where I Leave You is more relatable.

The older I get the more valuable the relationship with family becomes. My parents are already in their senior years and my older brother and I are two peas in a pod.  

As all relationships with family go, we’ve had some rough patches but there is something really comforting in knowing that there are at least three people in my life who have seen me at my worst and still love me. 

And this is what This Is Where I Leave You is all about. It’s about family: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You tells the story of four estranged siblings who return home after the death of their father to perform a Jewish custom sitting shiva for seven days in respect for the deceased.

During these seven days the family confront underlying conflicts, reveal secrets and offer love, healing and support that only family can give.   

The Altman family is made up of: inappropriate shrink mom Hillary (Jane Fonda), serious older brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his baby obsessed wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn), older sister Wendy (Tina Fey) who is in an unhappy marriage and still in love with the boy next door, black sheep younger brother Philip (Adam Driver) and middle son Judd (Jason Bateman) who’s life has hit a downward spiral after he found his wife in bed with his boss. 

What makes this familiar story enjoyable to watch is the ensemble cast. They gel together so well that them being a real family is believable to watch. 

The stand out performance for me is Jane Fonda, who knew she was so funny! Most of the cringe worthy, emotional and hilarious moments in the film are in scenes with her.  

The film has a perfect balance of drama and comedy and tells a heartfelt story without it being too sappy. It’s one of the rare feel-good films to hit the cinema circuit this year.

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