“THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU” My rating: B- (Opening wide on Sept. 19)
103 minutes MPAA rating: R
Families come together to celebrate or grieve. By Hollywood’s reckoning, grieving is by far the funnier situation.
The latest example is the amusing “This Is Where I Leave You,” in which four siblings return to their Midwestern hometown to bury their father.
Mother Altman (Jane Fonda) informs them that Dad wanted everyone to sit shiva for him. Which is odd, because though born Jewish, he was an atheist.
Anyway, now the kids, their spouses, significant others, and family friends are locked into a week of quiet contemplation. No work, no phone calls, no distractions from the memory of a life well lived.
“It’s gonna be hard,” Mom says in a spectacular display of understatement. “It’s gonna be uncomfortable. You’re going to get on each other’s nerves.”
Judd (Jason Bateman) is a New York radio producer who just found his wife (“Recitfy’s” Abigail Spencer) in bed with his shock jock boss (Dax Shepard). He explains her absence by telling everyone she’s at home with a bad back.
Wendy (Tina Fey) is saddled with a work-obsessed hubby (Aaron Lazar) who won’t get off the cell phone long enough to give her the time of day. She’s also dealing with a two year old going through an anal phase.
Paul (Cory Stoll), who still operates the family’s sporting goods store, has been trying for months to get his wife (Kathryn Hahn) pregnant. By now he’s pretty sick of sex.
And baby-of-the-family Phillip (“Girls’” Adam Driver), an irrepressible/irresponsible wiseass, shows up with his new squeeze, a ridiculously hot lady lawyer (Connie Britton) 20 years his senior.