Bottom Line: Jason Bateman anchors an extremely talented cast in this depressingly fluffy yet still somewhat effective family dramedy. It’s an all too common case of the actors being above the material but still being professional enough to deliver the best product they can… For a cinematic touchstone, think of THE FAMILY STONE meeting AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and having that union documented by some of the most average, vanilla-like sitcom writers in Hollywood. That’s not a terrible thing (I know, it sounds pretty terrible) – yes, it coulda been better – but it never really breaks any new ground. Someone just died, someone is going through a divorce, someone is in an empty marriage, someone can’t have kids, someone is cheating on someone else, someone will never grow up… You get the idea. There’s so much comedic misery under one family roof I’m pretty sure the filmmakers toyed with the idea of adding computer-generated rain clouds over everyone’s head. With all the negativity swirling about however, this still remains a decently hearted, good natured flick. It ultimately embraces hope and letting go in time for its surface-level themes on family, parenthood and siblingship to take hold. Bateman, Fey, Driver, Fonda, Stole, Shepard and Byrne – pro’s that they are – also deliver the requisite amount of laughs to make this a riotous slam dunk for the right audience.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Timothy Olyphant, Rose Byrne and Jane Fonda
Directed by: Shawn Levy (THE INTERNSHIP, REAL STEEL, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, DATE NIGHT and NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 1 & 2)
Running time: 103 minutes
Studio description: Based on the hilarious and poignant best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper.
(c) Warner Bros
Official site: www.thisiswhereileaveyoumovie.com