Did that title get your attention? Jane Fonda is 76 years old, and she’s never been better. The two time Oscar winner leads an all star cast in Warner Bros comedy “That’s Where I Leave You.” Shawn Levy directs Jonathan Tropper’s adaptation of his own hit novel.
The movie is more formulaic than Tropper’s book, but in the end it works even when you think the film is a little too “Parenthood” or “Brothers and Sisters.” That’s because Fonda is the rock solid comic center of this huge and talented ensemble including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, the ubiquitous Adam Driver, Corey Stoll (who’s really taken off since playing Hemingway in “Midnight in Paris”), Rose Byrne, Connie Britton, Kathryn Hahn, Abigail Spencer, Debra Monk and Aaron Lazar.
In the novel, the mother –in this clan that must sit shivah for their dad– doesn’t have such a big part. But with Fonda at the helm, Hillary Altman takes the lead. (Did you notice this happened on “Brothers and Sisters” when Sally Field as the mom became the focus?) Her laser like comic timing keeps the action moving. Hillary is wise and salty and very very sharp. She also has a secret that involves Debra Monk, one of the great utility players of Broadway, TV and cinema.
The movie played great, as they say. Warners should be happy. They got two big hits out of Toronto– this and “The Judge” with Robert Downey Jr.