This Is Where I Leave You

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
This Is Where I Leave You Movie Poster Image
Dramedy mines dysfunction for laughs; some sex, language.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Families come with all sorts of dysfunction and uncomfortable shared histories, but they don't have to destroy relationships.
 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nearly every single member of the Altman family is damaged or flawed in some way. Some are inconsiderate and immature, others are indiscreet, and at least one doesn't share much about his personal life with the rest of the family. Nonetheless, it's clear how much they care for each other, and that they're always watching one another's backs. Of all the characters, Judd is someone viewers are most likely to come away from the film feeling good about. He's got a lot to deal with, but he's going to take some time to find himself.

Violence

A woman punches a man. Brothers tussle, and one ends up with a cut on his forehead. They also chase each other in anger.

Sex

A man has energetic sex with someone else's wife; they're caught (after being observed for a few seconds), and viewers see both of them naked from behind. Some sexual sounds are heard over a baby monitor by a big crowd of people. Some kissing and scenes of couples in bed before and after implied sex, under the covers with shoulders bared. A character's boob job is a subject of conversation/jokes throughout the movie. Jokes about a character whose childhood nickname was "Boner." Lots of talk about the sex life of a couple trying to conceive. References to masturbation, first-date sex in a car, and more.

Language

Strong language isn't constant but includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "whore," and "bitch."

Consumerism

Brands seen/mentioned include Toyota, iPhone, Adidas, VTech, TicTac, Jeep, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters take shots of hard liquor and drink beer and wine at all hours of the day. Some drink to the point of inebriation. One character references Xanax; a group of guys smokes weed in a synagogue classroom -- it's presented as harmless fun.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that This Is Where I Leave You -- based on Jonathan Topper's novel and starring Jason BatemanTina Fey, and Jane Fonda -- is a hilarious, emotional dramedy about coming home and finding yourself, sometimes at a place where you didn't expect to do so. Though it's funny, it explores some serious themes, including miscarriage, infidelity, and death. Characters grapple, often inelegantly, with very complicated issues that may be over the head of tweens and younger teens. They also swear a lot, sometimes in front of children (including "s--t" and "f--k"), drink socially (sometimes getting wasted), and smoke weed without many real consequences. There's a fair bit of sex talk/jokes related to things like crude nicknames and boob jobs; a couple having an affair is caught in the act, and they're both seen naked from behind. Other pairs are shown in bed before/after sex, and one couple's amorous interlude is overheard via a baby monitor. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChele6.0 October 2, 2014

The Smut Show

Went to see it with my husband, in spite of my reservations. I knew it would be filthy, and it was. I walked out halfway through. Just because people talk like... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 year old Written byrienovo September 27, 2014

family drama, sex and language

I wanted to take my 14 year old HS freshman to a movie tonight. When reviewing the options that would be appropriate and appeal to her, I had violence, violence... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byapplecat September 28, 2016

Pretty good.

Apart from the sex scene at the start of the film which I found awkward to watch with my mother and the sexual moaning heard via the baby monitor that was funny... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 17, 2015

Funny and with heart and character, but no young children.

Maybe at this time, when I believe it is at it's DVD release, This is Where I Leave You might not seem too new, along the lines of some of the movies that... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the best seller by Jonathan Tropper, THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU starts at the end of the life of the Altman family patriarch. Judd (Jason Bateman), Wendy (Tina Fey), Paul (Corey Stoll), and Phillip (Adam Driver) -- the adult Altman siblings -- have just lost their father. Along with their mother, Hilary (Jane Fonda) -- a therapist who's written about each and every one of them -- they're sitting shiva. They haven't seen much of each other lately, but they have seven days to reconnect, and -- as often happens when families get together -- unearth past disagreements. For Judd, it's an especially difficult time: He's just discovered that his wife, Quinn (Abigail Spencer), is having an affair with his boss, Wade Beaufort (Dax Shepard).

Is it any good?

Based on the cast alone, This Is Where I Leave You is a winner. Nearly every single name in the credits -- topped, of course by Fonda, who's enchanting --brings weight to the movie. See it just to watch them create, with much success, a dysfunctional family that functions with deep love and respect for one another -- a motley, hobbled crew we can all love.

Beyond that, though, you'll be working more with bits of pleasure and enjoyment than with a film that's appealing as a whole. It's funny, yes, though sometimes the laughs come at the expense of originality. And it's moving, though the insight arrives bundled with a helping of treacle. At least the story itself is offbeat. But truly, the best reason to see This Is Where I Leave You is that it leaves you thinking just enough about your own family's quirks and secrets to appreciate its authentic, if sometimes obvious, takeaways. And that cast! But we've mentioned that already.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how This Is Where I Leave You treats drinking/drug use. Are there realistic consequences? If not, what message does that send?

  • What role does sex play in the movie? How does it impact the characters' relationships with each other?

  • Are the Altmans a typical family, or are they more messed up than others? What can we learn from them?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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