Release Date: Sept.19th, 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 103 Mins.
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne
The Altman’s are a family full of dysfunction. They can’t stand one another. Their father passes away and now they must spend 7 days with one another to reflect on his life by obliging him his final wish of them mourning him in the ritual of Shiva. Now it’s up to each of them to get through this time of loss if they don’t end up killing each other first.
The actors selected to play the main roles in this film were good. Fey and Bateman are the two obvious stars as they receive most of the scenes. They also bring the most heart to this movie as they go through the biggest issues in the movie. Judd (Bateman) goes home one day to find his wife sleeping with his boss. Needless to say, that’s a bad enough to start off with but then he hears that his father has died. Wendy Judd’s sister has a rather distant, work obsessed husband. We all know how that situation works out. Oh yeah and her father died too. These two help one another while also dealing with old flames in their old hometown. Corey Stoll is the oldest Altman, Paul. His wife wants a baby and it’s just not working.
Phillip, (Adam Driver) is the baby boy of the group and constant screw up. He’s dating his therapist, Tracy (Connie Britton). The therapist he needs because of his famous mother. She got famous by writing a tell all book about her family’s dysfunction and personal secrets which has kind of earned them a reputation and mental scars. Ben Schwartz is probably the funniest non Altman in the movie as Rabbi Charles Grodner A.K.A. Boner to most of the people he grew up with.
The jokes can sometimes seem beneath the movie like the constant references to the boob job their mother got or the little kid that shows up everywhere with his potty and poops. Granted the little kid is cute but the boob stuff and a few other jokes the writers could of done with less of them. There are tender moments and those actually work well because of all the humor throughout the film. After all it is about a family in reflection on the passing of a loved one and their lives in general. The two love story’s for Judd and Wendy almost seem like afterthoughts in all the chaos and laughs as they don’t actually get too much time spent on them.