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This Is Where I Leave You - Film Review

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by Lyn Spiteri (subscribe)
Hi-ho, I'm Lyn! --- Aussie. Teacher. Musician. Twin. Fan of film, TV, literature & musical theatre. Love fab friends & family, Star Wars & overall groovyness of life. -- Check out my blog at
Published November 2nd 2014
Dysfunctional? Drop on by
this is where i leave you

Family dysfunction on the big screen is nothing new but in this effort, adapted by the author himself Jonathan Tropper, we get to spend a realistic (albeit dramatic) week with a group of occasionally childish adults.

Recently betrayed Judd (Jason Bateman) heads back home to mourn the loss of his father alongside his sister (Tina Fey), mother (Jane Fonda) and brothers (Adam Driver and Corey Stoll). Past relationships, bad blood and the complications of life force the grieving Altmans to confront a few home truths and ultimately reconnect.

The film made me laugh and cry (more of the former, thankfully) and has an infectious energy. The cast are fantastic; Bateman is terrific (as always), underpinning his portrayal with an engendering warmth. Together with Fey who is also strong, the two are equally as capable comically and emotionally. In particular for me, their sibling relationship carried the film. Stoll brings a stern intensity as the eldest, perfectly juxtaposing the baby of the family (and certainly the most childish of the adult kids) Driver. I'm unfamiliar with Driver but as a Star Wars fan eagerly await his hushed role in the new trilogy. For me at least, he was a revelation of sorts in this; infuriatingly charming, unexpectedly touching and constantly hilarious. Fonda expertly straddles the dichotomy required as the matriarch in this sometimes absurd ride and alongside the rest of the ensemble, manages to convey a believable family chemistry. The Altmans are by no means perfect but this talented troupe make being a part of this family strangely inviting. They are backed by a similarly flawed but fascinating supporting cast including Aussie actress Rose Byrne.

A tricky one to label, the comedic family drama, rom-com-esque ensemble-led This Is Where I Leave You is an enjoyable and authentic piece of entertainment. If, like me, you're a Bateman fan then this is definitely a movie for you.

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Why? An entertaining film about dysfunction!
Where: In Cinemas now.
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