Monday, September 22, 2014

This Is Where I Leave You: Sitting Shiver

Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver

When Dad dies, the Altman family unites to sit shiva in the Jewish tradition, in the exact spot where their Christmas tree used to be. Which pretty much explains the kind of people they are. A little of this. A little of that.

There's a temptation to call them a dysfunctional clan. But that's not how the Movie Slut sees them. They're thoroughly modern people struggling with an assortment of contemporary issues. And while they could be viewed as self-obsessed whiners — kvetchers is the better word—they could also be seen as striving to get it right.

This Is Where I Leave You is a comedy with pathos. Wendy's (Tina Fey) back story is particularly poignant. And Jane Fonda's Hillary, the matriarch, aptly juggles wisdom and superficiality.

The flick would have benefited from more vigorous editing. A character or two should have been left on the cutting room floor, particularly the cringe-worthy rabbi. Still, there's much here to love.

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