After 2013 was a juggernaut for indie films, I was surprised how little 2014 was presenting us with. So naturally, after I heard about This Is Where I Leave You, I was really excited despite some mixed criticism. And I’ll be upfront with you guys: I had a good time with this movie.
This I Where I Leave You has a really large cast consisting of Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne and Jane Fonda among others. To clear it up right off the bat, Jason Bateman is the main character of this movie. You could tell in the trailer that it was mostly about him, but could be viewed as an ensemble piece. No, this really is Bateman’s character’s story. He works in the movie, and Bateman plays him really well, reminding me of Matthew Perry in Go On at a few points. Tina Fey is really good in the movie, bringing her Tina Fey humor to the mix. I assumed Corey Stoll would be hidden by these other comedy forces, but his character does hold his own in this film. But then, the stand-out performance is definitely Adam Driver. Adam Driver reminds me a lot of Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower) and that may be why I like him, and he’s gonna be in Star Wars, so… Rose Byrne is in the movie and this is one of my favorite performances from her because of how much more fleshed out her character is in this compared to, say, Insidious, The Internship, X-Men: First Class or even Neighbors. I think she’s a good actress and I like the script of this movie really gave her a great character this time around. And Jane Fonda is the other knock-out in this movie. Jane Fonda has always been great in anything she’s done, and she remains comedic hilarity in this movie.
I also enjoyed the direction of this movie. I would say I enjoyed the script, and I did, but Shawn Levy’s direction was really what tied the bow together for this film. Shawn Levy’s had some hits and misses in his day, but most of his stuff is mixed in criticism. I think this movie was perfectly executed for his style, and he nails the emotion and drama that needed to be present for a story like this. The trailer does make this movie come across as a light-hearted comedy with some emotion, but it is more of a dramedy with lots of emotion. It’s a funny movie, but has a lot of drama in it that makes me cautious of calling it a straight-up comedy.
My only other complaint is that I wish the movie was longer. I get why it wasn’t, everything needs to wrap up in 95 minutes without dragging, but this was such a neat and fun story I just wanted to stay with that family longer.
One of the best aspects of the film is regarding the actors and family aspect: the actors in this movie all feel like a real, dysfunctional family. No one in this movie feels out of place, and every character movement works.
I had a really fun time with This Is Where I Leave You and I’m kinda bummed how fast it was out of the theaters. (Better than Whiplash though, which isn’t even in a theater near me.) If you guys do have the opportunity to see this movie though, I recommend you do, it’s one of the most fun times I’ve had watching a movie this year without being too bummed out afterward.
So if you guys saw This Is Where I Leave You, what did you think about it, and who was your favorite character? Let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.