DVD Review: This is Where I Leave You

ThisIsWhereBluSTUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy | CAST: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne,  Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Timothy Olyphant, Connie Britton
RELEASE DATE: 12/16/14 | PRICE: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $35.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted and extended scenes
SPECS: R | 103 min. | Comedy drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital | English, Spanish and French with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall


With This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper adapts his own best-selling book to the screen, an ensemble dramedy about a dysfunctional Jewish family forced to sit shiva with each other for a week after the death of the family patriarch. The exceptional cast includes Jane Fonda (Barbarella) as a self-help author mother who boasts newly refurbished breasts; Jason Bateman (Identity Thief) as a son who recently broke up with his wife; Tina Fey (Admission) as a level-headed daughter; Adam Driver (Inside Llewyn Davis) as a slacker sibling; and Corey Stoll (House of Cards) as the son who has remained in town working at the family sporting goods store. In addition to these principals, the story offers their love various love interests.

this-is-where-leave-you_optThe reunion setting, big cast and the mix of pathos and social farce (plus boob jokes) is somewhat reminiscent of The Big Chill But this film, helmed by the ubiquitous Shawn Levy (the Night at the Museum series, Date Night), doesn’t have the chutzpah to move from lighter to darker material without feeling clunky. And except for some moments involving an annoying rabbi (Ben Schwartz) there ain’t a whole lot inherently Jewish about Levy’s presentation. It seems as though he and Tropper tried to play down the Jewish angle to capture a wider audience.

Still, This is Where I Leave You has some sweet and funny moments played out by a top-notch cast. Along with folks who are Fey and Bateman fans and want to see future Star Wars actor Driver is a major part, the title will have legs with 40-years-plus audiences as well.

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.