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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

This Is Where I Leave You | Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Rose Byrne, Abigail Spencer, Connie Britton, Debra Monk, Ben Schwartz | Review

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3 Chicks SmallJacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
http://www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
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This Is Where I Leave You | Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Rose Byrne, Abigail Spencer, Connie Britton, Debra Monk, Ben Schwartz | Review

The death of a family patriarch brings his grown children and their own families together…if that’s what you call three brothers, their sister Wendy (Tina Fey) and a very mammary-enhanced mother (Jane Fonda) trapped in one house for seven days of mourning and a whole lot of bitching.

(Take a deep breath)

Middle son Judd (Jason Bateman) has recently discovered his wife (Abigail Spencer) and his boss (Dax Shepard), getting physical in his own bed. Eldest son Paul (Corey Stoll) runs the family sporting goods business, which employs Horry (Timothy Olyphant) a former beau of Wendy’s.  Paul’s wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn) desperately wants a baby and has been unsuccessful at conceiving anything except a longing for Judd, whom she used to date.

Philip (Adam Driver) the youngest son is an irresponsible, gigolo-like free spirit who taunts the family rabbi (Ben Schwartz) a former childhood friend, with the nickname of his youth, Boner.

Wendy has a baby and a toddler who is way too attached to his potty and its contents.  Judd runs into Penny (Rose Byrne) his former girlfriend while visiting his home town, and Philip is dating a rich older woman (Connie Britton) with anything but monogamous intent.  

Wendy also has a workaholic, mostly absentee husband (Aaron Lazar) and is wracked with guilt over Horry’s brain injury from a car accident while they were dating years before.  She’s moved on with her life; he’s regressed into an impaired existence, living at home with his mother (Debra Monk) and working at the Altman Sporting Goods store.  Old feelings are stirred up between the two, as well as between Judd and Penny, Judd and his ex-wife, Judd and his boss, Judd and Paul, and Judd and Annie.  Judd and Philip have a go at amateur wrestling on the front lawn as well.

Jason Bateman’s Judd is the hub of the story, as if you couldn’t guess, but Jane Fonda’s boobs have a starring role as well, stirring up discomfort in her offspring while espousing a free-wheeling sexuality that is supposed to get them to loosen up.  Sadly, this only works with Wendy’s turd-hurling toddler.

(Exhale slowly)

Director Shawn Levy (Date Night) gleefully documents the constant dysfunction from a debut screenplay by Jonathan Tropper.  Unfortunately, dialogue and action seem artificially constructed for laughs (much like Fonda’s boobs).  Some are funny, some tired, and the film ends on a hasty attempt at several resolutions, none of them particularly satisfying.

Good for a few laughs, even better for some eye-rolling contrivances (hey, let’s smoke joints in a synagogue! Who’s mom kissing now?) the film wastes its talented, likeable cast on a series of trump-up conflicts, locked and loaded for shock value and maudlin sentimentality.

That is where it leaves you.

 

You are here: Home Movie Reviews Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews This Is Where I Leave You | Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Rose Byrne, Abigail Spencer, Connie Britton, Debra Monk, Ben Schwartz | Review