“This Is Where I Leave You” – A Comedy. Or is it?

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Rated R
103 minutes
Comedy (or is it?)

Cast: Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Tiny Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard

A father passes away and when his four grown children return home to his funeral, their nominally religious mother enforces a Shiva, the Jewish seven days of mourning. With much resistance the four eventually agree to honor this request bringing them all together in their childhood home for a week – longer than they’ve been together since childhood.

With children in tote, spouses coming and going and all their sibling baggage (figurative) their is much to rediscover about one another including their mom. Life doesn’t always hand us the life we expected. We’re required to learn and adjust as we go along. And while none of us is perfect… hopefully we’re better in some way for going through challenges, disappointments and realities especially if we have a loving family within arms reach.

I love these characters (and this cast!) Hillary Altman (Jane Fonda) is this accepting mother of reason who loves nothing more than her four children and the husband who just passed away. Her oldest Paul (Corey Stoll) is the reasonable one. He’s taken over the family business, married and he and Annie (Kathryn Hahn) are still trying to get pregnant. Judd left town for a career in radio, living in the city with his darling wife believing his life and career is all that and a bag of chips but then life happens to him right before his father’s death. Wendy (Tina Fey) marries the executive who can’t stop working and pops out a couple of kids. Living out of town helps her forget about the man she really fell in love with years ago and why she can’t have him. And then there’s Phillip. The baby of the family, the wild child, who can’t seem to find himself until he goes to therapy where he finds lot more than himself.

The seven days together reveals a lot about each characters personal struggles as we watch them each wrestle with their own demons. Some of them find a way to live with those ills. Others grow past them. But they all reconnect as a family. And isn’t that what we all really want – people who know us and love us anyway.

Note: Just because it’s called a comedy don’t expect LOL belly laughs. A better description is dramady. But then that’s just one chick’s opinion.
Arruga! = 0
Fidget Factor = 0
Age Range = 16
Overall Grade = B +

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