Monday, December 29, 2014

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda,
Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Timothy Olyphant
Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Dax Shepard

"Welcome Home.
Get Uncomfortable."

This film takes off after the patriarch dies and the grieving widow (Jane Fonda) wants all her children to come home for the burial. This sets in motion a dysfunctional family set up where siblings who haven't really kept in touch with each other nor with their mother are now stuck in one big house.

There are a few enjoyable moments. The emphasis is on 'few'. But it is all mostly sanitized, safe way to show how the adult kids lives get complicated as past loves, current frustrations and their shortcomings come to fore. But problems which tend to be mostly self-involved as it is wont to happen in this selfie obsessed times. 

The problem with a plot that has an ensemble cast (even if they are composed of good actors) is not all the characters are given enough narrative. Too many characters and side plots and it gets to the point where it all becomes one big mess and quite maddening. They should have really just focused on the characters played by Tina Fey and Jason Bateman as they were the most interesting among the siblings. 

"This is Where I Leave You" mostly works in part due to its good casting of credible actors like Jane Fonda, Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. It was nice to see them interact as family members with many predictable yet not too serious problems. But as dysfunctional family dramedy goes, I've honestly seen worse depictions of this popular genre.

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