Thursday, February 04, 2016

Everyone's Always Leaving

This Is Where I Leave You is about a family coming together in the aftermath of their father's death, and various hijinks and psychological hang-ups get dealt with. Judd's (Jason Bateman) dealing with the fallout from finding out his wife was cheating on him with his boss. He was also his older brother Paul's wife Annie's first boyfriend, and she and Paul are having trouble conceiving a child. Wendy (Tina Fey) is in a loveless marriage with two kids, and coming home brought her into contact with her old boyfriend, played by Timothy Olyphant.

Hey it's Timothy Olyphant in a role where, for once, I find it believable when he expresses sincere emotion! All it took was him playing a character with literal brain damage!

There's a lot of attempted jokes about the fact their mom (played by Jane Fonda) is sexually liberated and all the kids are really embarrassed by how openly she discusses her sex life, as well as their issues with puberty. None of it struck me as funny, but points for effort, maybe.

I'd say it was one of those movies where people find themselves at crossroads, and solve their problems with trite statements about taking chances (most of them directed towards Judd). But they don't really solve any of their problems, they either put them off, or make peace with them. Getting back together with one's high school sweetheart does not magically fix everything dissatisfying with their lives.

I'm not sure why I watch movies like this. Maybe I find it interesting to see families that handle everything by big demonstrations of yelling and stupidity, but they actually resolve their problems. There's enough various plots and characters at least a few of them are bound to be interesting. In this case, it was mostly just to have some noise going.

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