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Perfect Girls Night Out Movie ‘This is Where I Leave You’

We attended the interview as a guest of Warner Bros.

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

As a big fan of the Jonathan Tropper novel “This Is Where I Leave You,” I was thrilled to attend a screening of the new Warner Bros. Pictures movie of the same name. With the screenplay written by Tropper himself, this film about family stays somewhat faithful to the book, if not more poignant than comedic. But to be clear, it’s about a family, not for your family; it’s definitely a leave-your-kids-at-home-with-dad movie you can enjoy alone or with a girlfriend for a night out.

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The grown children of the Altman family (Foxman in the novel) come home to mourn when they learn of their father’s passing. Mom insists they sit Shiva for seven long and painful(ly funny) days as they attack and resolve their differences and their own personal problems. With a cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll (House of Cards), Adam Driver (Girls), and Jane Fonda as the matriarch, there is plenty of fun in the dysfunction. There are laughs, but not big knee slapping ones. The themes of life unresolved, unfulfilled, or simply directionless stay with you even as the jokes try to land. It has all the basics of a fractured family – infidelity, infertility, sibling rivalry, and suburban angst – and is maybe a little too much “real” for one family to showcase in a compact film trying to also be a comedy.

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Read the book for the big laughs and a-ha moments. For example (avoiding late in the story spoilers) the opening chapter of the novel, complete with infidelity, nudity, cake, and fire, is a shockingly funny reason to keep turning the pages. In contrast, the same opening scene in the movie where Judd (Bateman) catches his wife in bed with his boss as he arrives home early to deliver a birthday cake ends with Judd’s dejected face silently blowing out the candles. More meaning, less amusing.

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The movie has a few chuckles, but is more in the vein of a true dysfunctional family dramedy like Terms of Endearment Extra Light. But if you’ve read the book, you’re sure to enjoy this visual version that reminds you that you can always come home.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

“This is Where I Leave You” is in theaters starting today.

Learn more about the film online and on Facebook.

Karen Bremer is a North Orange County native. She’s a mom, freelance writer, and owner of www.shopbeecreative.com. Her company Bee Creative specializes in products for scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting online and in person at consumer shows in major cities around the country. Married for 16 years with 13 and 11-year-old girls, her business provides the flexibility she needs to be a dance mom, room mom, and girl scout leader among other titles. Free time? She’s never seen it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
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