Film #141: This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

leaveDirector: Shawn Levy
Language: English
Length: 103 minutes
Watched on: 7 Jan 2015

I felt cheated by this film, to be honest. When you’re on a plane without access to the internet, you sort of have to rely on the promotional leaflet “review”, if it can be called that – you can’t simply log on to find a Kermode review or a rotten tomatoes rating, or check the IMDB for a more neutral assessment. Thus I clicked on this film, it having been advertised as a comedy starting Tina Fey and a bunch of other comedians. I think it stretches the definition. Well, ok, it was labelled comedy-drama, but who’s counting?

The premise of the story is that a largely estranged family is brought back together by the death of their father. They’re called back to their hometown to fulfil a Jewish mourning tradition (that I’m unfamiliar with and couldn’t name to save my life), despite then technically not being Jewish because their mother isn’t. In the same week, the main character’s wife leaves him. Later a tepid romance blooms between him and a woman who I think he used to go to school with or something.

The comedy of the comedy-drama label is constituted by some crass humour, slapstick, and light bullying of some characters by others. I didn’t particularly click with its sense of humour, suffice to say, and by the second half of the movie they weren’t even trying to make it comedic, and it turned into full-on middle-aged angst mode, something that I don’t quite have enough patience for at this stage of my life.

Anyway, the main character was boring, the other characters were unlikable to the last, and the film was a waste of good talent, especially Tina Fey, and a waste of my time. The mother was funny, though. Gotta throw it a bone there.

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