Friday, March 16, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

The Duplass Brothers' best film to date. Made for fans of strong indie comedies with heart.

Rated R

for language including sexual references and some drug use.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

I’ve always been a fan of small indie comedies, so it’s a bonus to get them from funny and talented duo of writing-directing brothers Mark and Jay Duplass. I’ve enjoyed everything Duplass, but Jeff, Who Lives at Home is my favorite of them all (so far).

Jason Segel plays Jeff, an odd duck who lives in his mom’s basement. Since he doesn’t have a job, Jeff can sit around all day and smoke weed without any consequences. Life is carefree. His brother, however, is the opposite. Pat (Ed Helms) is high strung and selfish. He wants what he wants and has to have it when he wants it – even if his wife Linda (Judy Greer) doesn’t concur. His self-serving attitude is eroding their marriage at an alarming rate. Having been raised by a strong single mom Sharon (Susan Sarandon), their attitudes are out of the blue.

One of the things that Jeff likes to do to pass time is watch his favorite movie – Signs. He’s so obsessed with it that he’s convinced that it’s true – not the alien invasion stuff, but the moral of the story that everything happens for a reason. Jeff is fully aware that everyone thinks he’s crazy, but he’s certain that it’s all leading up to something big, that there’s a definite reason for it. Hopefully, today is the day that his fate and destiny will be revealed to him and that his worth will be proven to his family.

As Jeff, Who Lives at Home progresses, Jeff follows “signs” in his own life that might be leading him to his purpose. As he follows the signs, small coincidences keep bringing him back to the other members of his family – typically revealing bad news. Is this all just a coincidence, or is it leading Jeff to his ultimate purpose?

At its root, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a comedy – but there’s so much other natural and realistic content that gives it a ginormous heart, as only an indie film can do. The cast is fantastic and the script is even better. After reading about Jeff’s search for purpose, aren’t you curious to see how the day ends?

Photo credit: Paramount Vantage

4 1/2 out of 5

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