SYNOPSIS: When their father passes away, four grown siblings bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives are forced to return to their childhood  home and live under the same roof.


For sure, Shawn Levy isn’t on the list of many people’s favourite list of directors. Levy who made his name directing various forgettable comedies such as Cheaper by the Dozen and Just Married got my attention with one solid entry, Real Steel. And now he nearly stole my heart with this adult-oriented comedy, This Is Where I Leave You.

Writer and Professor of English Jonathan Trooper wrote the screenplay based on his book of the same name. On top of that, Levy has assembled a cast that is thankfully the highlight of the movie and this is because Trooper’s script is at times too Hollywood to be taken at face value. Still, the dramedy entertains on the whole like a sitcom pilot.

The head of the Altman family has passed away and the four Altman siblings have gathered at their old house for the funeral. At the request of their mom (the legendary Jane Fonda), they not only have to stay for the week but also have to face one another with their individual set of problems and skeletons.

Genuinely funnyman Jason Bateman plays the middle boy of the family, Judd, a heartbroken man who once again finds love and solace in the form of high school classmate Penny (Rose Byrne). Eldest of the family, Paul (Corey Stoll) is a no-nonsense, owner of the family business. Daughter Wendy (Tina Fey) has an unhappy marriage and still pins for her old love, Horry (Timothy Olyphant). Youngest boy Philip (Adam Driver) is a full-time womanizer who thinks he has the capability to be an entrepreneur. Add to it a Rabbi nicknamed Boner (Ben Schwartz), a shock jock DJ (Dax Shepard), Annie (Kathryn Hahn), Paul’s wife and Judd’s ex and Judd’s estranged wife Quinn, (Abigail Spencer) and you have a story that contains more fun than tears, more outrageousness than dramatic and more family love than ever.

Each of the numerous characters has a story of their own to share and this probably can be fitted into at least ten other movies. Sibling’s rivalry, infidelities, family squabbles, breast implants, every moment is a comedy of its own. When it comes to a dysfunctional family, the Altmans seems to come out on top as they are virtually a class of its own.

This Is Where I Leave You is a surprise entertaining dramedy despite the torrent of clichés and sometime implausible premises. Shawn Levy appears to be overly enthusiastic that he even ends the movie on an unnecessary high note – a nutty revelation involving the matriarch of the family. 


The Gospel According to Rabbi Boner is all about why Ben Schwartz’s character is constantly the butt of a joke. 


Images are well-defined. Colours look natural and great. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is solid all around with clean dialogue and immersive sound field. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Comedy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Abigail Spencer, Dax Shepard, Timothy Olyphant, Connie Britton, Ben Schwartz, Aaron Lazar, Jane Fonda
Director: Shawn Levy
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language and Sexual Scenes) 
Year Made: 2014


- The Gospel According to Rabbi Boner


Languages: English/Portuguese/Thai
Subtitles: English/Chinese/Cantonese/Bahasa Indonesia/Portuguese/

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time:  2 hrs
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Entertainment Singapore