“This Is Where I Left You” a funny at times family movie
September 24, 2014
"Where I Leave you" has a fine cast hampered by a predictable script enliven by lots of one-liners. It helps if you know something about Shiva, the Jewish form of mourning after a death.
Director Shawn Levy's romantic comedy is predictable and background music that trumpets each meaningful moment. No need to all, pay attention to the music.
Stars are Jason Batelman as Judd Altman, Tiny Fey (a bit less sarcastic and witty than usual as Wendy Altman), Adam Driver as Phillip Altman, and Coey Stoll as Paul Altman. The four siblings are forced to return to the family home to sit Shiva, the late father's last request.
They are joined by Rose Byrne as Penny Moore, Kathryn Hahn as Alice Altman and others of less note.
Movie opens with Judd coming home and finding his wife in bed with his boss Wade. He's ready for divorce. Stormy scene but nothing sexy. All the siblings get the word on the Shiva and appear to be greeted by Jane Fonda as Mom Hiliary Altman. Fonda brads about her bust uplift and displays modestly how good it was.
This is a very compete cast, able to swing one liners (Fey is good at this) amid serious moments. And all seem to have a great love of coffee, which they drinks ceaselessly.
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There's also Wendy's child who appears at dull moments to liven things by sitting on his portable pee pot. (Sigh.) You know things aren't going well when a tot on a pot gets the laughs.
There's plenty of infighting among the four siblings, which mama Hillary has difficulty refereeing.
Let's not bother with the complexities of the story, but pause to admire the Porsche Carrera S, which offers sleek relief.
There's a complex situation when Judd's wife discovers she's pregnant as Judd rekindles an old romance but figures it out somehow when she vows the fetus is his. Lots of such unanswered questions in this movie.
This is clearly a cast to remember even if their performances may not reflect them at their best, and certainly it is a pleasure to see Fonda exercising her deft skills, not seen for a long time. And busty as well.
Jason Bateman as Judd Altman, one of the four combative siblings and the protagonist. He is married to Quinn, whom he caught cheating on him with his boss.
Tina Fey as Wendy Altman, one of the four siblings; a responsible mother who is married to Barry and has 2 kids. She is the ex-girlfriend of her childhood friend Horry.
Adam Driver as Phillip Altman, one of the four siblings; the playboy(see Porsche) of the family who is nothing like his father.
Rose Byrne as Penny Moore, Judd's high school love interest.
Corey Stoll as Paul Altman, one of the four siblings; the no-nonsense brother who is responsible for the family business.
Connie Britton as Tracy, Phillip's girlfriend.
Timothy Olyphant as Horry, Wendy's ex-boyfriend.
Abigail Spencer as Quinn, Judd's estranged wife, whom Judd left after discovering her affair with Wade.
Dax Shepard as Wade Boulanger, a shock jock radio personality and Judd's former boss.
Jane Fonda as Hillary Altman, the oversexed widowed mother
who has written a highly successful guide to raising children.
Aaron Lazar as Barry, the family's young rabbi, who is determined to bring a cool, modern edge to their faith's traditions of mourning.
Cade Lappin as Cole Altman
Debra Monk as Linda, the Altman's neighbor, mother of Horry, and Hillary's best friend and confidant.
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