A year on, and I finally got around to watching, This Is Where I Leave You, and if I was asked to take it or leave it, I would leave it. As stellar as the cast may be, there is no recompense for a direction-less script.
The story is told from Judd Altman’s (Jason Bateman) perspective, and it’s his life and the life of the people that surround him, that we follow. As much as this film tries to be a comedy, it has a heavy dramatic tone, in parts, resulting in a, “am I supposed to laugh?” quandary. Adam Driver is his usual self, goofy and awkward, and at times absent. In fact it seems that the entire cast was wearing a restraint all of the time because we all know how talented all of these individuals are, but when placed together with this half beat mediocre script the results are wearisome. In truth the film does feel as if it was stitched up together as a series of deleted scenes, it does not flow well, it does not feel like a well directed, scripted piece.
I also say leave it, because when it comes to being predictable it scores an A+, not only do the plotlines seem like something we have seen before, but this film sure feels like it drags on and on.
Family is important to me. No doubt you would agree that family should be a place of haven and family should always feel like a ‘home coming’. This Is Where I Leave You tried to express this and other things too, but never actually said it, making the end of the film not only a relief, but I’m sure I heard the sound that a deflating balloon would make blasting through my speakers.
TRIVIA COOKIE: This film is based on a novel by Jonathan Trooper, of the same name.