There is a certain kind of self satisfied dramedy that can only be written by a child of the affluent, over educated and beleaguered by the misery of his suburban upbringing, yet oh so smitten with its quirky coolness. Tragedy brings this writer into contact with his or her estranged family. Their hypersexualized mother (Jane Fonda) is overbearing and positively lords her “hip for her age” persona over them. One brother is the unreliable, manchild rebel (Adam Driver), one sister (Tina Fey) the angry perfectionist. Then there is the long suffering, stodgy older brother (Corey Stoll) and finally, there is the sarcastic, sad brother (Jason Bateman). What unites them is their fealty to stereotype and ostentatious progressivism, a condescension to every other non-familial character, 80s pop, odd folks from the old neighborhood, the fact that nothing that happens in the story would ever happen in real life, secrets revealed (“Mom’s a lesbian!”; “Dad was a bad businessman!”; “You slept with HIM?”), assigned stem winders, a scene where the sons smoke weed (found in Dad’s jacket! Crazy!!!!) and heartfelt tributes immediately followed by crass one-liners.
And that is This Is Where I Leave You.
Truly terrible in every way.