This Is Where I Leave You ★★★★

Shawn Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You" is a well-assembled family drama whose foibles are played for good-natured, light-toned laughs. Moving away from the high-concept studio adventures and comedies for which he is known, Levy shows some maturation in his career with a film that is more restrained and more human than his previous spectacles. The result is a film that is funny, warm, and satisfying.

Revolving around a family that reunites after the death of its patriarch, the story weaves together a series of domestic plot points involving sibling rivalry, familial black sheep, pregnancy, adultery, and late-life sexuality. The drama is recognizable, and the comedy flows naturally from the interaction of character and story beats. Moving but never overly sentimental, amusing but rarely silly, the film strikes its emotional chords with control and spirit.

The production is small-scale and handsome, but Levy's cast elevates what might have been a forgettable affair. Jason Bateman and Tina Fey are more-than-capable in their roles, while Adam Driver injects an energetic magnetism in all of his scenes. Kathryn Hahn and Timothy Olyphant are severely underused in their supporting parts, but the two enliven the proceedings whenever they appear on screen.

A sharp, engaging, and emotionally lively comic drama, "This Is Where I Leave You" blends cynicism with warmth for something that manages to put forth a mirthful edge and a bittersweet lilt. Entertaining and ideally cast, the film is a sometimes subdued, sometimes joyous look at grownup scrapes and lessons learned.

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