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Friday, September 19, 2014

Are you closer to your siblings now that everyone's an adult, or was the bond tighter as children?

I have three sisters and a brother, and up until recently, when one of my sisters and I decided to move in together to share expenses, our relationships mainly consisted of holiday and birthday gatherings of G rated catch ups on life. Nothing too dramatic, nothing too revealing and God, it's been ages since any of us has brought anyone home to meet the family. A movie about our sibling dynamics would not be very interesting, on the surface...

In This is Where I Leave You, novelist/screenwriter Jonathan Tropper takes a family full of surface relationships and in 7 days of Sitting Shiva for their deceased father opens up all the underbelly, messy, loving, crazy dynamics of the Altman family - The movie opens and focuses on Judd (Jason Bateman), whose life just recently hit the skids when he finds his wife in bed with his boss on her birthday.

Jason Bateman is just one of those actors with a great face, you're always interested in what he's saying and more importantly, not saying because his expressions are so sardonic in the most earnest way.

Judd's closest sibling relationship is with his sister Wendy (Tina Fey) who has a baby and a 2 year old, who's found pure joy in potty training alfresco. Her husband is distant and all business, or is it that she's distant, as Wendy is still pining for the lost love of the boy next door, Horry (Timothy Olyphant) due to a life altering accident in their teens.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio Caption: (L-r) TINA FEY as Wendy Altman and TIMOTHY OLYPHANT as Horry Callen 

The eldest Paul (Corey Stoll) classic oldest sibling, carrying around that need to get everything right as an example to the others, while dictating what's to be, and really doing nothing but alienating everyone and making himself miserable.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio Caption: (L-r) ADAM DRIVER as Phillip Altman and CONNIE BRITTON as Tracy Sullivan

The youngest, Phillip (Adam Driver) again classic - irresponsible and inappropriate. There's a part in the movie where his new (older) love interest (Connie Britton) says something about Phillip's problems stemming from the amount of slack the family keeps rolling out for him to play in.

The matriarch is played phenomenally by Jane Fonda, a psychologist who made a successful career out of using her children as test subjects in her clinical best sellers.  Yet at the same time, she's very loving and accepting of each one of her children.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio  Caption: JANE FONDA as Hilary Altman

I am just amazed at how good Jane Fonda looks, it's not about the plastic surgery, it's about the fact that she exudes vibrancy, health, stylishness, and sex appeal, she's ageless!

Bottom line - Director Shawn Levy (Night at The Museum, Date Night) allows This is Where I Leave You to hit that blended comedy/drama thing smack in the middle, where it should be, including a slight pallor to the coloring of the film.  Each scene is entertaining without trying to be too heartrending or too hilarious.  The next day, I found myself thinking about the characters and wishing it was a TV show (similar to, but far less annoying than "Brothers & Sisters") Or that I was reading the book, so I could revisit with the Altman's again.

This Is Where I Leave You Opens September 19th

T &T's LAMB Score: 3.5 Outta 5  

Around the Web

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio  PicturesCaption: (L-r) TINA FEY as Wendy Altman, COREY STOLL as Paul Altman, JANE FONDA as Hilary Altman, JASON BATEMAN as Judd Altman and ADAM DRIVER as Phillip Altman

"The stuff that made me want to be a screenwriter (Jonathan Tropper) was that warts-and-all, slightly heightened but still grounded storytelling about family and relationships," said Tropper, a divorced father of three. "When those movies work — like 'Terms of Endearment,' 'Jerry Maguire,' 'Annie Hall' — they're the ones you never forget."...

"I have this ridiculously dog-eared copy of the novel," Levy said. "Every time there was a line of dialogue I thought was awesome, I underlined it to make sure it was in the script. Every time there was a piece of description I thought was lovely, I highlighted it and made sure it was in the production design or cinematography."... READ MORE Josh Rottenberg LA Times

While You're Here

Check out the Soundtrack for "This Is Where I Leave You" 

Comments are welcome on our facebook page for the post.  I'll ask the question from the opening again - Are you closer to your siblings now that everyone's an adult, or was the bond tighter as children?

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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