‘This Is Where I Leave You’ leaves much to be desired

‘This Is Where I Leave You’ leaves much to be desired

By Jacob Pierce

When a movie features a star cast, one imagines the film has a chance to be good. Somehow, having an amazing line-up will disregard any other problems the film could have.

“This Is Where I Leave You” (Rated R; 103 Mins) reminds us that a great cast does not mean a great movie.

“This Is Where I Leave You” is a dramedy film directed by Shawn Levy and starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Adam Driver. When the father passes away, a family finds itself back together for his one dying wish. He wished his family would spend one week together under the same roof. The past starts to haunt, and they realize you cannot run away from family.


This movie should have been great.

Putting a cast of A-list celebrities in a film to headline it is not always a recipe for the success. Like anything in Hollywood, there are good and bad examples.

For every “Nashville” there is a “Valentine’s Day.” For every “The Thin Red Line” there is a “New Year’s Eve.” But this film seemed different.

The difference between successful ensemble casting and unsuccessful ensemble casting can be simple at times. Movies like “The Thin Red Line” and “Nashville” cast actors who are known for their acting ability instead of star power.

Films like “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve” have casts that include people like Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner and Ashton Kutcher, who are not specifically known for their acting ability.

This film seemed to land on the side of successful casting. Bateman, Fey and Driver are all known for being able to play both a comedic and serious role successfully. This cast also includes actors like Timothy Olyphant, Corey Stoll and Rose Bryne.

The actors gave amazing performances in many terrific movies, yet this film decided they did not need to use them. Even Bateman and Fey, whose characters drive this plot as siblings, are used very poorly throughout this film.


A lot of interesting character developing moments are brought up throughout the film. A car accident that changed the lives of two characters and a miscarriage that ruined a marriage of two others are just two examples.

Both storylines are dropped for the sake of each character delivering a funny line that barely has any context in the scene.

You have two characters that are having baby issues, yet they never talk about the issue. They barely even talk at all.

Which leads to another big problem with this film. These characters never seem like family or even real characters for that matter. They are puppets used to get out jokes the writer and possibly the director of this movie must have thought were really cleaver.

Characters do not really talk to each other in this film. Some do not even seem to notice that others exist unless it is to set up a witty piece of dialogue. The characters seem to be stuck in defined stereotypes without room to grow.

This is a very tempting movie to go watch. It has all of those actors you love, and even appears to have an interesting and compelling storyline. This is all a mirage. Do not see “This Is Where I Leave You.”