You know how you read a book you really love and then they make a movie of it and the movie really sucks? Well, I'm happy to say that doesn't happen with one of my favorite books, Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You. Yay!
I wrote a review of the book a few years ago (read it here) because when I finished it I turned back to page one and read it again. That doesn't happen very often and it's so fun when it does.
Tropper's writing is what I look for in an author: accessible, engaging, poignant and witty - the perfect storm for fiction. He wrote the screenplay, and that's probably in large part why the movie works so well, but it's also because of the great casting (I love Jason Bateman), and wonderful acting and directing.
In general, books are way better than the movies that come from them, but once in a while it's the other way around - Winter's Bone comes to mind; a convoluted, complicated, confusing book but a beautifully told and gripping movie - but mostly you're just happy if the movie does a little justice to its source. This one goes one better. This is Where I Leave You is like seeing the characters walk off the page. And of course the dialogue is witty and Tropper-like.
Full disclosure: This is not really a five star movie - it's not perfect - but because I liked the book so much and the film didn't ruin it, it gets five out of five stars from me.