Jonathan Tropper’s well-liked 2009 novel This Is Where I Leave You has (a) a title one could easily confuse for Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her, and (b) a film adaptation hitting theaters in September. Directed by Shawn Levy (The Internship, Date Night, the Night at the Museum movies), the story is to death in a dysfunctional Jewish family what August: Osage County was to death in a dysfunctional Midwestern family. Adult children and non-adult grandchildren gather at a dead patriarch’s home for an extended period of battles, laughs, and tears — except this time the cast especially demands that you make it to the theater.
“Huh?” you say. “Are you implying that there are bigger ensembles than Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, et cetera et cetera?” Well, no. I’m saying that the stars of This Is Where I Leave You are equally interesting and generally much more in need of a movie worth their talent. We’ve got:
- Jason Bateman as the bearded, depressed protagonist (recent films: the 19 percent Tomato’d Identity Thief, the 25 percent Tomato’d The Change Up)
- Tina Fey as the delightful older sister (recent films: the 38 percent Tomato’d Admission, the not-as-good-as-the-original Muppets Most Wanted)
- Adam Driver as a high-on-himself hotshot (recent films: actually, Lincoln, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis? Driver’s all good)
- … and Connie Britton as his life coach/girlfriend (recent films: the 15 percent Tomato’d Nightmare on Elm Street remake, the 51 percent Tomato’d The To Do List)
- Jane Fonda as an openly sexual author/matriarch (recent films: the 17 percent Tomato’d Georgia Rule, the 16 percent Tomato’d Monster-in-Law)
- Corey Stoll as a bitter big brother (Corey Stoll could never be in a bad thing because his presence makes a bad thing at least an OK thing)
- Timothy Olyphant as a damaged heartthrob (ditto for Olyphant, although he did that useless Die Hard fourquel and that Hitman garbage)
- Dax Shepard as a douchebag shock-jock (Dax Shepard is not allowed in good movies, unless you’re an Idiocracy fan)
Rose Byrne isn’t so in need of an enjoyable film, coming fresh off of Neighbors, but she, too, is in This Is Where I Leave You. Not pictured in the trailer: Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec‘s Jean-Ralphio) as a guy named Boner, and Kathryn Hahn as someone who married into the bonkers family. Feels like it might be good enough to look past that egregious Eternal Sunshine copycat shot, right?