Yes, This Is Where I Leave You is another family dramedy, but it’s definitely worth catching this weekend. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, and Jane Fonda star in an ensemble film that makes us reflect on our own lives and families (and wish they were a tad bit crazier).
Adapted from a best-selling novel, the story takes familiar story lines — wacky moms, old flames, a cheating ex, and frustrating sex lives — to new levels, while also incorporating struggles we all go through, like finding one’s “purpose” in life. As this oversized family prepares to hunker down for some long overdue family time, there’s a genuine tone we can get behind — plus, a tremendous cast.
If you can’t decide whether or not it’s worth the $13.25 (give or take a few dollars), allow these notes to help you out.
1. You will fall in love with Adam Driver. If you haven’t already.
In a departure from his somewhat douchey Girls character, Adam plays the youngest brother of the clan, Phillip, who gives zero fucks about anything — but still has undeniable charm. In one of his prouder moments he uses a baby monitor to listen to his brother and sister-in-law having sex in a house full of guests. For some reason, we could see him being this way in real life.
2. Connie Britton rules as the ultimate cougar.
Britton’s character, a therapist named Tracy, dates Phillip, even though he’s clearly much too young and immature for her. You’ll love seeing Britton as this uncertain character who can’t seem to take her own advice (ironic, since she’s a therapist) — a sincere departure from the strong females we’ve seen her portray on Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story.
No matter what kind of character Britton plays, we’ll always have extreme hair envy. Watch her reveal her own hair-spiration, below.
3. The book-to-movie adaptation works.Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel This Is Where I Leave You was a New York Times best seller. In a season filled with multiple book-to-movie adaptations (The Giver, The Maze Runner), TIWILY is one you shouldn’t overlook. Tropper wrote the movie’s screenplay, helping to give it an entertaining pace. Luckily, the story is outlined strongly enough that if you haven’t read the book, you can still enjoy the film just as much as if you had.
4. You’ll want Rose Byrne to be your new best friend.
Rose plays the free-spirited Penny — the complete opposite of her uptight, prissy Bridesmaids character, Helen. She has a potty mouth, doesn’t care what people think, and is closer in line to her Neighbors character, while openly on meds. In a lot of ways her character serves as the audience’s perspective.
5. It’s like other ensemble dramedies, but with a twist.
Just because you’re not a fan of other ensemble dramedies (like The Family Stone or The Big Wedding), don’t write this one off quite yet. Yes, it captures the dysfunctional ways of a large family. But with the multiple story lines, there’s something almost everyone can relate to — whether you are (or have) the narcissistic but loving mom, overprotective sister, or irresponsible brother. The driving story focusing on Bateman’s character is sweet, showing you what happens when we settle and don’t live life on the edge. (We bet we weren’t the only ones leaving the theater ready to live, damn it!) The movie proves you will learn lessons and have fun, while getting to that light at the end of the tunnel. Not to mention the WTF-worthy twist at the end. We’re talking to you, Fonda.
This Is Where I Leave You is in theaters now.
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros]