After I read this article about books that I should read before the movie comes out, I moved This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper to the top of my list. So far I've seen two of these movies, which is a lot for me, since I'm not much of a movie goer. I can report that the movie, Winter's Tale is no where near as good as the book, but the Divergent movie is great, and follows the book pretty closely. From reading the article, I knew that Jason Bateman would be starring in TIWILY, but what I didn't expect was that TIWILY would be a paper version of his TV show, Arrested Development.
In TIWILY, a family that has grown apart is coming back together to sit shiva for the father. The family consists of the mom, Hillary, who can't resist showing off her surgically enhanced breasts, and is known for her best selling book about child rearing. Then there's Paul, the oldest brother, who was a star athlete until he was injured, and stayed home from college to work in the family's sporting goods store. Next is Wendy, the only sister, who is a somewhat indifferent mother to her children, and who is married to a man who is married to his blackberry. IMDb says that she will be played by Tina Fey. The baby of the family is Phillip, who has been bailed out of trouble one time too many, and who brings his therapist/fiance home to meet the family. Finally, there is Judd, the protagonist and the Jason Bateman character, who has recently walked in on his wife having sex with his boss.
The story is mostly told by Judd, who speaks with a hipster accent. If I turned down the corner on every page where Judd said something in a clever way, just about every page would be bent. The family has a snappy banter between them, using sarcasm to convey their repressed feelings, but also coming to each other's defense just when you expect them to let each other down.
The relationships in this story run deep, with what happened 20 years ago being just as important as what is taking place in the present. There is a whole lot of cheating going on, but most of the time it is the woman doing the instigating, rather than playing the victim. There's also a lot of testosterone surging through the book with disputes settled through fist fights, even though a couple of the characters' lives were forever changed as a result of fights in the past. This family is clearly as dysfunctional as that in Arrested Development, so playing Judd shouldn't be much of a stretch for Bateman. While certainly not life changing, this was a fun and quick read. I'm looking forward to seeing this family again on the big screen.
This is one more down for the Rewind Challenge.
Next up: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kid
Still Listening to: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides