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SallyAlbright

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

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Opens 9/19, based on Jonathan Tropper's 2009 bestseller. Stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton and Dax Shepard.

 

 

Decided to open this since I saw an advanced screening. I absolutely loved the book, I think it's hilarious and would recommend it to anyone. However, I think I would have liked the film better had I not read the book. On its own, the film is a decently enjoyable dysfunctional family dramedy, in the same vein as The Family Stone. However, as a fan of the book, I was a bit disappointed. The cast is amazing: Jason Bateman, Rose Byrne and Connie Britton were standouts, but everyone was solid. That was perhaps the most disappointing part, because some brilliant actors were kind of wasted. Poor Corey Stoll barely has anything to do and there was way too much Adam Driver for my liking. It seems as though they beefed up Philip (Driver)'s role at the expense of Paul (Stoll) and I would have much rather had it be the other way around. All in all, not a bad movie, but not as good as the book. Definitely has some funny moments and Bateman and Fey in particular are very believable as bickering siblings. Rose Byrne is adorable as always and makes the most of her screentime. Connie Britton and Timothy Olyphant take rather small roles and make them very affecting. Finally, having Jean Ralphio from Parks and Rec (Ben Schwartz) as the rabbi also deserves a mention, just because he's awesome.

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I very rarely think a movie should be longer than it is, but I would have watched the Altmans for another 2 hours if I could have. So much material, so many great actors, so little time!

 

I thought all of the sibling scenes were so great - Judd and Wendy on the roof, Judd and Phillip at the end... this movie hit all of my sweet spots. 

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I think I would have liked the film better had I not read the book.

I didn't read the book, and mostly enjoyed the film, but it seems like there are missing scenes to help connect a bit better. Funny you say they built up Philip, because it seems there were about 2 scenes with Tracy that were missing. Also, I understood very little about Wendy and her non-family life (especially the asshole husband)

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I didn't read the book, and mostly enjoyed the film, but it seems like there are missing scenes to help connect a bit better. Funny you say they built up Philip, because it seems there were about 2 scenes with Tracy that were missing. Also, I understood very little about Wendy and her non-family life (especially the asshole husband)

Though I didn't articulate myself, this is kind of what I meant. I thought perhaps I would have enjoyed the film more had I not read the book because I was thinking of all the scenes or lines that were left out and it took me out of the film. Looks like you got the same feeling that stuff was missing though :)

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Saw it last night.  It was funny.  Lots of parts where definitely more toned down than in the book -- I really wished they would have kept the part about Judd shoving the cake up his boss's ass when he caught him with his wife, especially because his butt was sticking right out there!

 

But I did like how they made the ending less ambiguous than it was in the book; it was more clear that while Judd was going to help raise the baby, he definitely wasn't getting back together with the wife.  Yes, he needed to forgive her for the baby and his own sake, but yeah, there's no way in hell you could ever forget that she was doing his douche boss for a year in his own house.  And I didn't buy her "we fell apart because of our miscarriage" excuse, that's still a really shitty thing to do.

 

I wish they elaborated more on Wendy and Horry, because that definitely had more emotional impact.

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We really enjoyed watching this last night! I do want to know more of the backstory so I will have to read the book , thanks for your comments. I felt a disconnect of the mom reveal at the end. Was that in the book too? Maybe because that relationship was hardly touched in the movie.

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This just came to Netflix so I watched it.

We thought it was awful. There were too many Side characters and I just felt all their storylines were mushed together and badly explained.

While I loved her hair I hated Tina Fey in this. I don’t think she’s the strongest character when it’s not straight up comedy and her dialogue and attempts at being serious fell flat to me.

I felt the actors were trying really hard to forge chemistry and while each had chemistry with Bateman I just didn’t buy it as a group. 
 

Also the mom and family friend reveal? Good for her but so random and added nothing as the friend barely had a line of dialogue throughout.

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I like it because in times of the pandemic there's something comforting about the movie IMO, without being too overtly a romcom or something. Though I do think that the film is too sugary in tone and tries to be too cutesy. And it seemed like Wendy's whole story arc needed to be explained better, I wanted to know more about the old boyfriend and her marriage. Like, her husband had two lines and I was very interested in him and what was going on there. I'm sure it fell away due to time constraints, but it really weakened that part of the story IMO. And yeah, the relationship between the mom and her friend came out of nowhere. It would have been nice had that been given more room.

OTOH: I loooved the sibling dynamics, because this is such a mess of love and resentment that often develops LOL. And as adults when they meet it's believable that they fall right back into the old nonsense. The oldest brother who thinks he has to control everything; dreamy, talented brother who has grown cynical, sister who gives them hell for their screw ups but also wants to take care of them all, youngest brother who has trouble growing up but sometimes tries to anyway. I thought all the sibling interactions were great; In turns funny and moving and painful. And Adam Driver should do more comedy, he really shines in this and knows how to find little quirky moments. That the rest of the cast is great at comedy is a given LOL.

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