Shawn Levy takes a break from his usual comedy-heavy fare to direct the spare family drama This Is Where I Leave You. After catching his wife in bed with his boss, Judd (Jason Bateman) sinks into a deep depression, worsened by the news of his father’s death. Upon venturing back to his childhood home, Judd attempts to reconnect with his mother (Jane Fonda) and his three siblings (Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver), each of whom is harbouring their own problems. With an ensemble cast to envy (Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton and Timothy Olyphant also make appearances), This Is Where I Leave You proves to be a mildly engaging distraction, thanks primarily to the combined skill of its actors. Bateman anchors the film well, while Fonda, Fey and Driver utilise their expertise as comedy performers to resuscitate the films otherwise inconceivable and uninspiring script with much needed moments of dark humour. The cavalcade of issues that unravel from the various characters are either skimmed over or resolved all too quickly, meaning the film severely lacks bite in the drama department. This isn’t to say that This Is Where I Leave You is entirely terrible; it’s not. However, the fact that Levy’s latest falls short of its potential does this innocuous comedy few favours.
A longer version of this review was first posted on CineVue.