January 9, 2015

The Book Was Better...


This flick had recipe for success written all over it, so you knew Murphy's Law was gonna kick it's ass at some point...

This Hollywood film had all the right ingredients: bestselling book which I loved (read my review here), all star cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda, successful director, big studio marketing...

We just watched This Is Where I Leave You, the 2014 Hollywood flick that was supposed to do way better critically and commercially than it ever did.

This Is Where I Leave You is the story of four adult children, all with their own infidelity and infertility dramas, who come home for their father's funeral, and are 'grounded' by their mother to sit shiva (Judaism's seven days of mourning to honour the dead) together. Humour, bonding and pratfalls ensue.

The movie is funny but slight, and yes we chuckled... watch it on cable, or when you are trapped on an airplane. It is a bland  Big Chill wannabe, a 2-hour Full House sitcom where the kids swear and fuck.

Even better, read the book. It is fantastic.

This movie is boob jokes and pot jokes and shtick with toilets, without real characters or real pain. The book was a smart touching funny family drama. I blame the director Shawn Levy (he of Night At The Museum and The Internship) and or the screenplay (surprisingly written by the book's author).

And one thing that really bugged me here... despite taking place at a shiva (the Jewish version of a wake), this is the least Jewishy supposed Jewish family since Ross and Monica on Friends. Could you not find even one Jewish person in Hollywood to help with this?

As of January 1st all ten seasons of Friends are on Netflix... watch that instead.

Why is the book always better?