The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Waiting for Intermission: Review of "This is Where I Leave You"


The feeling that you have achieved everything you wanted, that you have accomplished the perfect plan, can be attractive to anyone. However, for Judd Altman, (Jason Bateman), everything came to a screeching halt when his perfect wife cheated on him with his boss.

Going through an emotionally draining divorce, Judd gets a call from his oldest sister, Wendy (Tina Fey), who informs him the terrible news of their father’s passing. Judd then finds himself moving his life back home to connect with his grieving family for the next seven days.

Traveling to a showing in Monroeville at midnight with my roommate and friend in tow, I thought I would fall asleep due to the warm setting and soft music of the film. Yet, I became wide-awake just to witness for myself how the film was going to end.

The Altman family captured my attention with their realism, drastic measures, and their over-the-top, no-boundaries honesty. But in the end, they were still a family that cared so deeply for one another.

The Altman family would accept just about anything that would be cast in their path: the mother, whose fame came by writing about the development of her children (much to the embarrassment and resentment of her children); the oldest son, who stays to become the ‘perfect son’ but fails to impregnate his wife; the overbearing sister, who regrets leaving the love of her life behind; and the youngest brother, who destroys any responsibility and accountability for his actions.

Judd welcomes his old life like an old ally, if only to escape the reality of the betrayal of his wife. This band of socially difficult misfits come together to mourn the loss of the father–the only sane person in the family.

Sometimes you have to go home, to find out where you got lost.

The film encourages the audience to follow Judd as he reconnects with his old home to realize just how much he was missing from his life. But instead of trying to solve himself, to come to the next step for his ‘perfect life’ plan, he realizes that it’s alright not to be okay. No life can be worth living without imperfection. Life is crazy and unfocused, not filled with intricate faultlessness. The characters of this family aren’t portrayed with problems to be later fixed in the end. A person’s flaws are meant to be accepted.


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