Jeff, Who Lives at Home

"OK"

Jeff, Who Lives at Home Review


While not hugely memorable, this enjoyably ridiculous comedy has moments that are sharp, thoughtful and hilarious. And the filmmakers give their gifted cast the space to create characters who are amusing and resonant.

At 30, Jeff (Segel) is wasting his life in his mother's basement. Frustrated that he's not more ambitious, like older brother Pat (Helms), Mom (Sarandon) sends him out on an errand. But everything that happens when he's outside reinforces his belief in some sort of cosmic destiny that's guiding his every step. He also gets involved with Pat, who's showing off his new Porsche just as he learns that his wife (Greer) might be cheating on him. Meanwhile, Mom is perplexed by the fact that she has a secret admirer at work.

Segel is terrific as a likeable oaf who earnestly loves M Night Shyamalan's Signs and hilariously looks for guidance in anything he sees. Opposite him, Helms relishes his against-type casting as a wannabe alpha male. As the two of them skulk around the city getting into a variety of awkward situations, the film keeps us smiling even if it's too contrived to make us really laugh. And Sarandon's scenes as a woman who's delighted, then rather stunned, by her admirer are involving even if they're under-developed.

The Duplass brothers are great at writing and directing ridiculous comedy as if it's perfectly natural. Clever, subtle gags emerge in every scene only to be balanced by startlingly honest drama. And nothing goes the way we expect it to.

On the other hand, nothing much really happens beyond a series of hapless, farcical incidents that seem to be teaching the characters something important about life.

This is a film about imperfect people who feel like they're lost, but are doing the best they can. So by the time we reach the climactic traffic jam, the film's punchline feels just about right, even if it's a cliche: "What happened?" "Everything." Yes, it's very simplistic, but it's also rather sweet.

And perhaps for a few minutes it makes us ponder whether there really is any meaning to life. Even if the film's answer is a shrug: "There must be."



Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th May 2012

Box Office USA: $4.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $4.3M

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Paramount Vantage

Production compaines: Indian Paintbrush

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 102 Rotten: 29

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Jeff, as Pat, as Sharon, as Linda, as Carol, as Paul, as Elderly Man, Deneen Tyler as Woman calling the police, J.D. Evermore as Rob the Waiter, Tammi Arender as Newscaster


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Advertisement
Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Ant-Man Movie Review

Ant-Man Movie Review

The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...

Love & Mercy Movie Review

Love & Mercy Movie Review

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...

Ted 2 Movie Review

Ted 2 Movie Review

Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...

Advertisement