This Is Where I Leave You
Time Out rating:
Not yet rated
Time Out says
Fri Oct 3
It’s a bad time to be Judd Altman (Jason Bateman). Not long after this disc-jockey assistant finds his wife in bed with his boss, he gets a call from Mama Altman (Jane Fonda) informing him his father has died. Dad’s final request was that the whole, mostly non-practicing Jewish family sit shiva. That ends up being a week of slapstick dysfunction and sentimental reconciliation. Nothing, however, that happens between the Altman clan compares to the torture that is watching the movie.
We shouldn’t expect greatness from Shawn Levy, the filmmaker behind such alleged comedies as 'Date Night' and 'The Internship'. Nonetheless, there’s something especially irritating about the way the director, helming Jonathan Tropper’s adaptation of his own novel, manages to waste such a talented cast. In addition to Bateman and Fonda, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll are the siblings; Timothy Olyphant and Debra Monk are the neighbors; and Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton and Abigail Spencer are the women orbiting the Altman men.
The boys fight, smoke pot and fight again. The girls act like selfish shrews, ache for their men to grow up and want babies to be fucked into them (in the film’s parlance). Probably the biggest sin in a movie filled with many is turning Fonda into a nymphomaniacal sight gag who makes Barbarella look like Gloria Steinem: her prosthetically enlarged breasts and GILF-y horniness are nowhere near as horrifying as the scene in which she imitates Driver performing autofellatio. It’s that kind of comedy.
Author: Keith Uhlich