Film review: This Is Where I Leave You

The ‘been there done that’ tale about a group of dysfunctional siblings returning to their childhood home, resulting in hurt feelings and arguments, making its way to a corny ending where everyone’s problems are resolved, is once again revisited. This time it’s in Shawn Levy’s new dramatic comedy This is Where I Leave you. The film proved to be anything but exciting as the plot was very predictable and overdone.  This is Where I Leave You was full of clichéd characters and situations which made for a dry and expected story line. Granted, there were a lot of funny one-liners but they were far too scripted and unbelievable. It’s an unfortunate loss in what seemed like a promising comedy given the star-studded cast it held, consisting of Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver and more.

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The film was based on Jonathan Tropper’s bestselling novel of the same name, but did not do itself justice in its attempt at being the comedy of the year.  There are moments in the film that are laugh-outloud worthy due to the undoubtedly comedic cast but the story itself took away from the otherwise humorous moments, all of which were included in the previews and trailer. The conflicts and problems in the story unnecessarily become more complicated and work only to move the story along in a petty attempt to finish this typical plot. The story becomes increasingly boring as the plot continues and more stereotypical family feuds arise. Old grudges between family members and friends arise and former flings get in the way. It’s a story in which you can basically predict where it is all heading.

Bateman is probably the only saving grace in this film, but that’s not a surprise. However, this is another poorly written comedy, similar to The Switch with Jennifer Aniston or Identity Thief with Melissa McCarthy, that doesn’t provide a role worthy of his abilities as an actor. Overall, the movie is not worth the hype or the ticket price. This is definitely a wait-to-see, nothing-better-to-do-at-home movie, for sure.

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