A Misanthrope’s Guide to the Movies: This Is Where I Leave You

We’re back, bitches. Maybe you didn’t even know we were gone. Doesn’t matter, your year just got a little whole lot better.

We had awesome summers, thanks for asking, and we watched a lot of movies. But we don’t have the time or energy to review every movie we’ve seen since we left you. That’s what Yahoo Movies is for. We’re here to review one movie, with the star-studded cast of at least two movies: This is Where I Leave You.

This is Where I Leave You is a movie based on a book (I know, right? Who knew that was allowed?). Both the novel and the screenplay were written by the same guy, Jonathan Tropper. The book is laugh out loud hilarious. The movie exists. It’s the story of a family whose members hate each other (but not really) and are forced to sit shiva–a week long Jewish mourning tradition–after the death of their father. Though the dead patriarch was apparently secular, bringing his family together in mourning was his dying wish. Hilarity is supposed to ensue. [Ed: Does it? You’ll have to click through the jump to find out. We’re on the edge of our seats.]

Jason Bateman plays way off-type as a lonely, mistreated straight man in a world of narcissistic character types, and we certainly applaud his risk-taking. I (Brian), have never once rooted for Bateman, but I (Jessica) have never not wanted him to find love, make millions, and live happily ever after. [Ed: Really Jessica?] Viewers on both ends of that spectrum will be pleased with this movie, as Bateman frequently loses, and then kind of wins. The movie starts with his wife sleeping with his boss, and that ends up being like, the best thing that happens to him.

Tina Fey is there. As in she is present. With her body and face and voice. None of the things you really love about her are there, because the director and writer seemed to only want to cash in on her star power, not her crazy talent. I mean, someone has to play the straight man to Bateman’s straight man. Jane Fonda’s boobs are also there, presumably for the same reason, and they get more screen time than her face. Comedy!

TV stars Dax Shepard (Parenthood), Adam Driver (Girls), and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) hold their own as comedic stars of the big screen. Scenes featuring Shepard and/or Driver and Schwartz together consistently promise the most laughs. Shepard’s particularly biting comment about Fey’s middle part was undoubtedly the funniest line in the movie.

So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, it could be seeing This is Where I Leave You. But it also may not be worth the trip all the way down the hill. The movie seems almost destined for Netflix, and it may be worth it to wait. See it, don’t see it, you’re life will be wholly the same. And with that, this is where we leave you.

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  1. I really had high hopes for this movie. Since Arrested Development, he’s become the quintessential “guy that can’t win” or “kind of wins but still loses,” the movie Bad Words comes to mind here. I think he plays the “fish out of water” role like nobodies business and has come a really long way since his role in The Hogan Family. I was looking forward to seeing this movie just for him, I can’t think of one movie he has made in the past decade that was a stinker. I hope you guys are wrong about this one.

    On a side note, Tina Fey I can take or leave.

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