Review: Jeff Who Lives at Home

Title: Jeff, Who Lives at Home
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Mark & Jay Duplass
Starring: Jason Segal, Ed Helms, Judy Greer
Runtime: 1 hr 23 mins

What It Is? Jeff (Segal) as the title implies is a loser who lives at home with his mother (played with gusto by the always wonderful Susan Sarandon). Jeff believes that the world has a bigger plan then it’s revealing. You see Jeff believes that signs are everywhere, and after a wrong number gone wrong calls him he makes assumptions grander than they seem. All the while Jeff’s brother Pat (Helms) is struggling in his marriage to Linda (Greer) and isn’t making anything easier on himself by making a less then frugal purchase. All the while Pat and Jeff’s mom is dealing with her husbands death as well as te realities of getting older.

What We Think? Stellar performances across the board whether is Jeff’s starry-eyed view of the world or Pat’s egocentric trip into self-realization the movie is an emotional ride, with all the indie cred to make any film snob (including this one) fall pray to its wit and charm. The duplex of Duplass’ do an excellent job of understating all that emotion my as they did in their previous celluloid venture Cyrus. Greer is convincing as Linda and we really tend to hate her until the denouement. The only cross step I think was Segals Jeff’s was too often a cross between a lost puppy and Rainman to really fully root for. Perhaps it was a script failing rather then a full blown characterization flaw, regardless that hurt the film.

Our Grade: A-, Once again the Duplass brothers turn big heart and small budget into a solid piece of cinema expect this on the back end of most years best list. It’s minimal flaws cast a shadow which will keep it from making most top ten list, and it’s inevitable quirk prevent it from appealing to a broader audience. It’s no fault of the filmmaker nor the cast, it’s the harsh and unfair Hollywood landscape. Hard R comedies beware this film proves you don’t toilet humor, celeb cameos, and tons of T & A, but can rather get along fine with an original idea, and a handful of solid laughs.

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