Directed by Shawn Levy and written by Jonathan Tropper, “This Is Wher I Leave You,” out today stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, and Jane Fonda.

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I’ll get this out of the way right off the bat: This Is Where I Leave You isn’t the best movie in the world. It’s not the best movie to cover family drama. It’s not the best movie with an ensemble cast. There are times the movie tries to shuffle around with too many subplots and too many sub-genres and it just gets messy and frustrating. With such a talented cast, it’s a bit sad really that This Is Where I Leave You isn’t a much better movie. Shawn Levy takes a step back from his usual family films to tackle something that’s both heavy and lighthearted at the same time to mixed success. But I will say this — This Is Where I Leave You is enjoyable, charming, heartbreaking, and it really does have some legitimately funny moments.


The Altman family is dysfunctional…there’s no better word to really describe them. Judd (Bateman) is the most successful of the four. He’s married with a great job and a great life in New York…until he finds his wife, Quinn (Abigail Spencer) sleeping with his boss Wade (Shepard) and then it all comes crashing down. Wendy (Fey) is married with two children but is usually found with a drink in her hand most of the time. Paul (Stoll) is the oldest and most responsible of the four. He runs the family business and is married to Alice (Hahn), but the two have been unsuccessful at trying to have children. Phillip (Driver) is the youngest and most immature and gets by on his charm and charisma. Hilary (Fonda) is the matriarch of the Altman household and is a celebrity psychologist whose most successful book was a guide to raising children based off the experiences of her family.


So what brings everyone back home? The death of a father. And with his last wish, he wanted the whole family to sit Shiva. So for seven days, the children are grounded and stuck in their childhood home. Each of the children comes back home bringing their secrets and surprises while also running into the past they ran away from. Judd still hasn’t told his family (aside from Wendy) about his divorce from Quinn, but finds himself spending time with his high school flame, Penny (Byrne). Wendy see her ex-boyfriend, Horry (Olyphant), who still loves across the street with his mother due to an accident that brings back feelings of guilt for Wendy. Phillip returns home to surprise everyone with his new fiancee, Tracy (Britton). The Altman’s aren’t a close family and it doesn’t seem like they particularly like each other much — but they are family and they do love each other.


With so many actors and actresses, it’s tough to single out every performance in This Is Where I Leave You. And that’s a shame since the performances were easily the best part of the movie and what will keep audiences hooked in. It’s expected that Bateman, Fey, and Fonda will hold their own and obviously lead the movie. Although I do want to see that the chemistry between the three clearly was exceptional. But the biggest surprise of the movie was Adam Driver. Known more for his role in Girls, it’s easy to see why he’s becoming one of the most in-demand actors working. Driver is charming, charismatic, and full of energy in a role that seemed to be created just for him.


Maybe there were too many characters to try and center on in the movie. Maybe 103 minutes just wasn’t enough time to give the source material the proper justice it deserved. Or it’s possible that the subject matter was maybe too mature for Shawn Levy to get a full grasp on. I can’t really pinpoint what exactly felt off about This Is Where I Leave You. For all of its faults, I just couldn’t help myself but to enjoy the movie. As someone with a large family, I completely understand the whole dysfunctionality that comes with family. With all of that being said, it’s easy to enjoy This Is Where I Leave You, but an enjoyable movie doesn’t always equal a good movie.