Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trailer Park Tuesday: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

For the past three months I've driven along Harrison Avenue here in Butte, Montana and scowled at the marquee for Carmike Cinema in the Butte Plaza Mall.  Even though I'm a die-hard movie fanatic, nothing I've seen advertised on that marquee has even so much as raised a blip on my pulse.  This has certainly been a lackluster blockbuster summer, hasn't it?  In fact, I don't think Jean and I have even been in a darkened theater since Memorial Day--which is pretty unusual for us.  This is Where I Leave You is the first movie to catch our mutual interest and make us pause-and-rewind as we skim through commercials on our TiVo.  Based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper and starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda, the movie (or at least the trailer) looks like a whip-smart middle-age-crisis romantic comedy.  Sure, it has an overabundance of boob, masturbation and impotence jokes--but I'm hoping the movie marketers just crowded all that junk into the trailer in order to sell it and that the rest of the movie is a little more reasonable and balanced.  Still, what we see in the preview is pretty damn funny.  Here's the plot description of Tropper's 2009 novel:
The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened.
From all appearances, the movie hews pretty close to the book.  I think it helps that Tropper himself wrote the screenplay and serves as one of the producers.  Here's how the novel opens:
      "Dad's dead," Wendy says offhandedly, like it's happened before, like it happens every day. It can be grating, this act of hers, to be utterly unfazed at all times, even in the face of tragedy. "He died two hours ago."
      "How's Mom doing?"
      "She's Mom, you know? She wanted to know how much to tip the coroner."
Finally, it looks like I have a reason to go back into the movie theater!

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