Study Guide

Wade Boulanger in This Is Where I Leave You

By Jonathan Tropper

Wade Boulanger

Wade Boulanger is the ultimate alpha male. He's "tall and beefy," with "genetically superior shoulders" (14.5); he's sexually proficient, and unflappably confident (3.22). In many ways, he's the complete opposite of Judd. Sure, the two men share a few things in common. They're both a bit self-centered. They both love women. But that's where it ends.

Of course, their differences are likely what drew Jen to Wade in the first place. While Judd is insecure and emotionally distant, Wade is cocky and intense. Judd has difficulty communicating; Wade knows all the right words. He might even know them a little too well, if you catch our drift.

That's why Judd is so shaken by the affair. It's not merely because his wife cheated on him—it's because Wade highlights his own failures and shortcomings. It would be like your pickup basketball team kicking you out and replacing you with Kevin Durant. You might not have been insecure about your jump shot before, but you darn tooting are now.