This Is Where I Leave You Movie Poster Image

This Is Where I Leave You

(i)

 

Dramedy mines dysfunction for laughs; some sex, language.
  • Review Date: September 19, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

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.

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. 

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:September 19, 2014
DVD release date:December 16, 2014
Cast:Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda
Director:Shawn Levy
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Book characters, Brothers and sisters
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, sexual content and some drug use

This review of This Is Where I Leave You was written by

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Parent 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 that "in real life" doesn't mean I want to sit through 2 hours of constant f bomb and sexual references. The very first scene was an inappropriately long sex scene. Some may find that entertaining, but I don't. When we have no standards, we get smut on the big screen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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, sex, violence and cartoons. All of the PG13 movies were chock full of graphic violence, turtles, maze runner (which she refused to see because the trailer was to violent), galaxy of the guardians, etc. And then there was this movie which had sex (OMG), and some language. Oh, and some adult themes, because apparently graphic violence does not count as an adult theme, but infidelity does. Luckily my child is interested in adult themes, as she is considering a career in psychology, and has done a sexuality program called OWL, so is familiar with sex as well. Otherwise we probably would have had to stay home. She doesn't like violence, cartoons, or schmaltzy feel good movies. This movie was very funny, and somewhat realistic in terms of what is like to be an adult in a household with your siblings. We both enjoyed the movie, but I would be a little careful in bringing children not versed in adult themes or familiar with sexuality. Most HS children hear plenty of language in the hallways of their school, even if they don't use it at home. Don't be fooled!
Parent Written byEducator3 October 5, 2014

Disgusted

In times when we need to emphasize what good morals and family values are, this movie is a disgrace to traditional American culture. Adults acting extremely inappropriate and selfish, not to mention the F bomb and "S" words used throughout the entire movie. Using a sick display of dysfunction for core family and decent values to get a laugh is weak minded pathetic!

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