Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives At Home (2012)

Jobless and broke, Jeff (Jason Segel) is a thirty year old man, who lives in his mother’s basement. Jeff kills time by smoking pot all day, and he develops a strange obsession for M. Night Shyamalan's Signs. Signs motivates Jeff to find his destiny, and through a series of random events, Jeff searches for the answers to his father’s death.

Jeff’s mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon) sends Jeff on a simple errand to buy wood glue at Home Depot, but Jeff is sidetracked by a new mission: he must learn the significance of the name “Kevin.” While searching for the importance of Kevin, Jeff accidentally runs into his brother, Pat (Ed Helms). In a foolish attempt to show off, Pat crashes his new Porsche into a tree. While Pat writes a check for the owner of the tree, Jeff spots Pat’s wife, Linda (Judy Greer) with another man. Suspecting an affair, Pat decides to follow Linda and Steve (Steve Zissis), and with Jeff’s help, Pat tries to expose Linda as a cheating wife.

Yes, Jeff is a loser. He’s a quirky and soft-spoken man, who lives with his mother, but you can feel sympathy for this character. Deep down inside, Jeff is a nice guy with a big heart. As expected, Segel delivers plenty of laughs, but he also provided a very believable serious side for the Jeff character, and you will see one of Segel’s better performances in this film.

Pat is a dick. He doesn’t respect Jeff at all, and his marriage is falling apart. Helms is an asshole for the majority of this film, but after an intense argument with his wife, you’ll see a softer and more caring version of Pat. Pat’s unexpected bonding experience with Jeff provides some great funny moments, and Helms delivers a very enjoyable performance here.

Linda is the neglected and heartbroken wife, and Judy Greer really nailed this character. And Susan Sarandon was the perfect choice for the widowed mother, who wants to escape from her mundane lifestyle. Jeff, Who Lives At Home features some really good acting, and I honestly can’t think of one bad performance from this cast.

The Duplass Brothers (Jay and Mark) work behind the camera is decent enough, but the story is outstanding. Jay and Mark are the directors for this film, and they also wrote the screenplay. Jeff, Pat, Sharon, and Judy have a good amount of depth, and Pat comes close, but nobody reaches the level of an annoying, unlikable character. Everyone is looking for comfort and a peace of mind, and The Duplass Brothers did a wonderful job of creating some feel-good experiences for each character.

The script provides a good balance of comedy and drama. The Duplass Brothers weren’t too silly on the comedy side of things, and when it comes to the drama, the story never becomes too sappy. Jeff, Who Lives At Home is more than capable of providing good laughs, but the story is loaded with great emotion.

Jeff, Who Lives At Home is filled with emotional stories of self-discovery. It's a hilarious comedy, but this film also features some genuine moving moments.

This might be the best Jason Segel film since Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Yeah, it’s that good. Jeff, Who Lives At Home is fantastic, and if you’re a Segel fan, you have to see this movie.

Final Rating: 8/10

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