Aptly titled, “This is Where I Leave You” leaves you wanting more. Despite its star–studded cast, the movie falls short of anything worth remembering. Adapted from Jonathan Tropper’s critically acclaimed book of the same title, this rendition proves to readers, once again, that books are better than their movie forms. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. The multiple underdeveloped storylines and the lack of gritty emotion made the A–list cast seem meh.
The film opens with the main character, Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) starting a typical day at his New York City job as a radio show producer. Just five minutes in, Judd walks in on his wife, Quinn, and boss, Wade (Dax Shepard), having sex. Just when Judd thinks the worst has come, he gets a call that his father has passed away.
The Altman family’s four kids, Paul (Corey Stoll), Judd (Bateman), Wendy (Tina Fey) and Philip (Adam Driver), come together under the roof of their Westchester suburban home to sit shiva with their mother, Hilary (Jane Fonda), for their seemingly “atheist” father. As Judd deals with his marriage, Paul struggles to make a baby with his wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn). Wendy takes care of her two kids and grapples with her own marriage and her high school boyfriend Harry, who lives across the street, and Philip attempts to prove that he is more than just the family screw–up. All the while, Hilary tries to be the glue that holds her family together.
The film doesn’t make you hysterically laugh or hysterically cry, but catches you somewhere in the middle—at a few chuckles and maybe a few tears shed. While it’s not anything special, it’s relatable, and everybody can find a piece of themselves in one of the many characters portrayed. “This is Where I Leave You” will seem subpar to fans of the book, but it’s worth the watch.