This is Where I Leave You (2014)

(Video on Demand, January 2015) Considering the amazing cast put together for This is Where I Leave You, it would be understandable to expect a bit more from the results.  I count at least nine interesting actors on the top bill, and seeing some of them play against each other is almost fun no matter the material they’re given.  As siblings (and their assorted partners) reunite after the death of their father, the film becomes an intricate multi-ring circus of entwined subplots –enough of them that you’re guaranteed to relate.  There are laughs, cringe-worthy situations, a surprising amount of R-rated material and an ending that ties up most loose ends hopefully.  Jason Bateman is his usual leading-man self, Jane Fonda gets a late chance to play her curves, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver finally gets substantial big-screen comedy roles, Tina Fey and Kathryn Hahn are effortlessly likable… think of this film as a buffet and you won’t be too far off the final impression.  Of course, this means that some parts don’t entirely work, or feel contrived, or are executed more mechanically than anything else.  There’s wasted potential here, magnified by the known-name actors.  (I suspect that had it featured unknowns, the film would have earned better reviews.)  Still, as far a dysfunctional family comedies and assorted romantic dramas go, This is Where I Leave You is decently enjoyable, with enough twists and turns and revelations and set-piece sequences to justify the running time. 

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