Friday, September 26, 2014

Movie review of This is Where I Leave You (R) - review by Stephen Signor

This is Where I Leave You will leave you with a smile, a few watery moments and a warm and fuzzy feeling. Is this a chick flick? Perhaps. It depends on your own definition. I did not think so. But it is definitely a feel good film. Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper it is a collage of characters depicting the lives of family members, significant others past and present and childhood friends who at some point discover something new about themselves. Making the rare successful transition from the pages to the screen was catapulted by the author who also wrote the screenplay.

Casting was chosen by award winning Cindy Tolan known for among other films, Blue Valentine and It's Kind of A Funny Story and she doesn't disappoint with notables Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.  In my mind however, there were no co-stars in this film. Aside from a few extras sprinkled here and there and a couple of bit parts, every cast member played an intricate role in making this a memorable experience. Essentially everyone potentially played as the protagonist.

For 93 minutes you witness the trials and tribulations of four Foxman siblings forced to live under the same roof of their childhood home for seven days as a request prior to their father’s death. It is here their self-inflicted dramas will inhabit your innermost senses. The effects of their patriarchs death is subliminal and often referred to while examining their own existence and question of purpose, which always seems undermined by each other. Secrets are revealed and desires awakened. These twists and turns provide for an interesting ending and are amusing to negotiate and flow well within the plot.

Films that move, inspire and reach out to you are few and far between. It was as if I was watching a candid documentary or a real life interview accompanied by unedited improvisational commentary. This menagerie of dysfunctional characters were believable, uncomplicated despite the chaos and emotional without missing a beat. It is no surprise it is number three on the list for best movies of the month voted by En-TV.

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