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Sunday, September 21, 2014

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Although he was an atheist, a father's dying wish is that his family do a shiva (in Judaism, seven days of mourning for the immediate family). Having a dysfunctional family with issues unresolved sitting under the same roof for seven days is asking for trouble ... and it comes! Yet another disappointing dysfunctional family dramedy following last week's THE SKELETON TWINS. As cinema, it's marginally better than TWINS but it lacks the stand out performances of Hader and Wiig which make that film worth seeing. Has the genre played out its welcome or is it a case of poor writing? I understand the novel by Jonathan Tropper had more weight to it but he adapted his book for the screen so who else to blame? I hated how it panders to its audience for cheap laughs (a scene with the brothers getting high on weed is a case in point). Is there a bigger cipher on the screen than Jason Bateman? I've seen him in several films but I swear if I bumped into him on the street, I wouldn't know who he was! Tina Fey moves into more dramatic acting with this film but it indicates she doesn't have much range as an actress. It's up to Jane Fonda as the matriarch of the clan to salvage what she can of the picture. I can just see her thinking to herself, "THIS is how you do it, kids!". Directed by Shawn Levy. The large cast includes Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Connie Britton, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn and Debra Monk.

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