I’m back! I took an extended summer vacation to build slideshows of hot dogs, but I decided to give that a rest and do something more meaningful like talk about a movie I saw yesterday.
I wanted to see “This is Where I Leave You” for two reasons:
1. I started reading the book, but then I burned it so I never found out what happened (I didn’t join a Bible cult, it was an accident).
I could have used context clues to guess what happened in the corners of the pages but why do that when I could pull the classic “watch the movie instead” move.
2. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and the guy from “Girls” sounded like a promising cast. I was wrong.
Since I only read half the book I can’t say whether the movie does it justice, but if it does I’m glad my scented candle took a bite out of it. This movie was BLAND.
The plot is simple: Jason Bateman’s wife cheats on him and his life is falling apart. Then his dad dies and his whole dysfunctional family has to sit Shiva at mom’s house. All their problems come to the surface and they reconnect as siblings, how sweet. It’s simple, but has potential especially with a good cast.
The classic staring-at-a-cake scene. At least in the book he throws it when he catches his wife and his boss in bed together…way less boring.
I don’t know if it’s the director’s fault, or the author’s fault for attempting to write his own screenplay, but it feels like someone had a checklist of “how to make a movie funny and heartfelt.” It was just completely unoriginal – you know those scenes where everyone is arguing and talking over each other until it just becomes noise and then the sound starts to fade away and the main character is left in quiet reflection? That happened like 80 times.
And how do you make Tina Fey unfunny? She was totally annoying, boring and completely unlikable in this movie. In fact, everyone was unfunny; every joke falls flat. The only remotely funny part is Jane Fonda’s massive boobs. (Of course, I should tell that to the woman sitting two rows down from me who clearly does not get out much because she could not contain her laughter….so some people will like this).
Rose Byrn plays Jason Bateman’s figure-skating love interest, and her character is super weird and makes no sense.
Some guy who I thought was Eric Camden from Seventh Heaven, but is actually just no one, plays a brain-injured neighbor who Tina Fey used to date – and that’s awkward.
Why do I know this man?
Even Dax Shepard is half sedated the whole movie – although the one time I actually laughed out loud was when he tells Tina Fey she’s too old to rock a middle part. And speaking of, the women in this movie were way too perfectly coiffed for it to be believable that they’re living out of a suitcase at their mom’s house for seven days.
Dad’s dead. That’s no excuse to leave the curling iron at home.
Despite being annoyed by his giant face and body, the only person I enjoyed in this movie was Adam Driver from “Girls.” He’s the only one who brings something original and plays around with the delivery of his lines (I mean that could just be a result of his weird voice, but still). But even his acting couldn’t save some of his scenes from being forced – like when he drives up to the funeral blasting DMX or something else so obviously inappropriate.
Basically I walked out of the theater and instantly forgot I just watched a movie. I recommend waiting for it to air on HBO…or read the book and let me know what happens in the inner corners.