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|Index||115 reviews in total|
A film with a lot of potential. A quite interesting plot (even though
it's sometimes a bit too obvious) and great acting from three great and
likable actors! Especially Susan Sarandon does a great job and her
character feels really real. Unfortunately, everything else in the
movie is rather poorly executed...
The light is bad, the soundtrack sounds like an annoying phone signal and the constant work with the zoom every time someone reacts is not artistic in anyway, it's just plain irritating and kind of reduces the acting.
I would also have wanted it to be more humor in the movie. Jason Segel and Ed Helms are funny guys, but the script does not give them a chance to really show it. Jeffs obsession with signs is a funny idea (the intro is hilarious) and they should have made more humor of it.
However, the ending is quite nice and it saves the movie. And the last Kevin-thing is satisfying even though it's obvious and on the verge of cheesy.
Maybe there was something I missed, but I surprisingly didn't like
this. Early on, the movie seems to compare itself to Signs, in how it
meanders before finally making sense in the end. "Everything happens
for a reason" as we know it. But whereas Signs had Shymalan's signature
suspense and mystery to back itself up, Jeff just seems to merely
meander. Maybe there's just something more to it, but the idiosyncratic
style and uneven shifts between comedic and dramatic tones muddle down
whatever the movie wants to say.
I'm a huge Jason Segel fan, and I love Ed Helms as much as the next guy, and they are the best parts of this movie, especially when the two of them share moments of intimate conversation with one another. However, these moments, poignant though they may be, don't provide much help. Susan Sarandon is also trying her best, even if her alternate story feels like something out of a completely different movie. Even Judy Greer, whom I revere and adore, couldn't save this movie for me. Granted, I'm not discouraging anyone from seeing it, it's just that it didn't stick with ME.
**1/2 / *****
Jeff (played by Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother) is the perfect
idealist who is searching for meaning in the world after the death of
his father. Everything is a sign from the universe, no matter how
trivial it seems to his brother Pat (played by Ed Helms from The
Office). The brothers have a strained relationship, as Pat mocks Jeff's
every thought. They have an even touchier relationship with their
mother Sharon (played by Susan Sarandon), who receives messages from an
anonymous admirer at her workplace.
The film is driven by Jeff and Pat's pursuit of Pat's wife Linda (played by Judy Greer from What Women Want), as they suspect she is cheating on him. Throughout the course of the most adventurous day that you can imagine, Jeff, Pat, Linda, and Sharon undergo transformations that fundamentally change their relationships with each other and allow them to find meaning in this chaotic world.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Why, oh why have they described it as a comedy? It has nothing to do
with a comedy, it is a damn melodrama, as funny and exciting as going
to the funeral. This movie has so many flaws it is horrifying to watch.
To begin with, I was extremely disappointed with Jason Segal acting I
swear if it was Nicholas Cage instead of him, I wouldn't see any
difference his stone-dead facial expression was really disturbing.
Then comes the directors' share in the disaster what is the meaning
of all those lengthy scenes the road rolling under the car's wheels
or a nirvana moment under a fire sprinkle?? The action is already
painfully slow, why would you slow it any further? And the soundtrack
was the last blow to this piece of "art" sort of disturbing,
profoundly sad chill-out music that gives you shivers.
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The acting wobbled as much as the camera-work from boring and flat to jittery and overly stylized. None of the characters were particularly interesting nor were their lives. This movie doesn't really make it as a slice-of-life movie because the character's reactions to each other and the situations in which they found themselves were simply not believable. They were however all too often predictable and traditional TV/movie bits. The ending was too pat and gave a dutiful nod to the Hollywood/new age concept that we are all connected in a mystical spiritual world full of signs and portents. The movie was trying so hard to look meaningful it forgot to actually have any meaning. Only worth watching for the snob appeal of being able to say you watched it. Possibly a good date movie for a guy who is trying to impress an artsy girl who takes herself too seriously.
First of all let me just say that Jason Segel is an amazing and
versatile actor...i was already his fan from the sitcom 'How i met your
mother'..He is the main reason i watched this movie..and man what a
great choice it was..
The movie follows Jeff and his quest to find his destiny by following signs...It outlines the strength of a family through light humor and great acting....how it can make u change the way u view things..
All in all..its a movie that leaves u feeling happy and content in a way that only certain movies can....i recommend it to people who enjoy movies like 'we bought a zoo'....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some people have a theory that there is no such thing as coincidence;
that everything that happens in life happens for one reason or another.
Maintaining that state of mind, I would imagine, requires constant
frustrating vigilance. You're always on the lookout for what connects
one thing to another.
Jeff (Jason Segal), the protagonist of Jeff Who Lives at Home thinks that way. He has plenty of time. He is just past 30, unemployed, lives in his mother's basement, smokes pot and hasn't had a girlfriend since high school. He watches the 2002 thriller Signs over and over again to reiterate his theory that nothing just happens, not even when he gets a phone call from a guy asking for someone named Kevin. Out on an errand for his mother, Jeff spots a guy with the name Kevin on the back of his jersey and follows him. It doesn't go well.Jeff has a brother Pat who is even more clueless. He is floating through a marriage to Linda (Judy Greer) that is going nowhere in particular. She wants to save money for a house, but he spends it on expensive things, like the Porsche he just bought because it was such a great deal. He makes her breakfast to break the news of his purchase and her response is to dump her breakfast on the hood.
After Jeff's unfortunate run-in with Kevin, he runs into Pat (though not by coincidence) and the two spot Linda getting into a car with another man. Thus sets off a day of free-wheeling misadventures as they try to uncover the mystery of whether or not she is cheating on him. Pat is angry and wants to know who the mystery man is, while Jeff's eye is constantly following the signs to find out the meaning of "Kevin". No points for guessing that this will eventually lead to something.
Meanwhile, Pat and Jeff's widowed mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon) works in an office cubicle and begins receiving instant messages from a secret admirer. The messages are sweet and clever and she becomes intrigued. Discovering the identity of the mystery person isn't that difficult. All you have to do is to follow the economy of characters in that office and you'll figure it out long before it is revealed.
These three elements: Jeff's search for Kevin, Pat and Linda's marriage and Sharon's secret admirer lead up to a scene that brings them all together at the same place at the same time. Cosmically, there is a reason to this, so that all the characters can have closure to their individual problems. Although the revelation doesn't have as much meaning as we might hope. It is interesting how the movie gets the characters to that spot, but that's about it.
There are two scenes in the movie that work perfectly, first is the scene when Pat finally confronts Linda about the other man. They have an argument that is full of truth and really seems to come out of reality. The other is the discovery of Sharon's secret admirer. What comes of it is briefly touching, but the movie moves past it so quickly that it feels like a loose end.
Jeff Who Lives at Home is a nice, sweet movie of no real significance. It is appropriately funny when it needs to be; dramatic when it needs to be; and moving when the need arises. The disappointment is that it doesn't really go over the top with any of those things. I like it when a movie really reaches for something, but this movie climbs to the peak and reveals nothing surprising on the other side. I enjoyed the movie while I was watching it, but it isn't one that I am going to carry with me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jason Segel is Jeff, a thirty-something jobless stoner still living
with his mother and lazily waiting around for his true calling. His
opening monologue has plenty of potential. He doesn't just love M.
Night Shyamalan's Signs, he thinks the movie is speaking directly to
his soul, calling him into action, guiding him towards the universe's
signals. This is all before it cuts to reveal him sitting on the
toilet, and then makes the well worn journey back to the TV and couch,
and where his bong lies. Jeff's little opening mantra, like the film's
soundtrack, contains the right amount of whimsy to rope the audience
into rooting for him - we're waiting for the beat to pick up, for him
to finally break into a run. But the rest of the character is thinly
drawn. Segel is familiar with the role - he made mid-life loserville
look effortless in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where he was so defeated
even his capacity for self-pity was all but extinguished. But here even
his laziness is lazy. He might look the part with the sullen stare,
rolled shoulders, and an entire wardrobe comprised of baggy hoodies,
but there is little personality beyond the intro. Where is the lived-in
monotony, of a bong hit so familiar that it stings? Jeff is told to go
outside for an errand, and he meekly abides, swinging his arms and
peering curiously at the sun. It's a casual sketch of a recluse. His
hazy, misguided motivations ring true; we recognise that he is more in
love with the idea of destiny's calling than actually getting off the
couch. It works too, until he just walks out anyway.
Along the way he bumps into his more conventionally successful brother, and the Duplasses' intent is to gradually reveal how similar their plights really are. We recognise that almost instantly anyway from Ed Helms' hapless performance, and seeing how dismally his wardrobe reflects his priorities: he goes through the entire film in his work uniform, and with the dismissive demeanour of a bullying manager. There's no charm in the role, and we shift uncomfortably as he tries to smoothly play off a surprise splurge on a sports car, but ends up looking pathetic instead. Pat is a loser, although a different kind from his brother. But like a bad Alexander Payne, the film doesn't know when to stop bashing its characters, until we're past the dark humour and into plain sad territory. It goes all the way, only to let them off easy after all. Greer's dialogue has a way of cutting right into the heart of Pat's patent narcissism and past all his self-aggrandising bullsh*t, and it's a wonder she is still there to accept him into her loving arms at the end. The Duplasses fight Jeff's theory of placing himself at the centre of the universe by well, placing him at the centre of the universe, making a big, melodramatic show of him jumping into the river and pulling off a heroic deed. The women, in comparison, seem to exist in the real world. We're touched by Sarandon's weary, middle-aged musings on her missed opportunities because she is someone we all recognise or even occupied. She was supposed to be in the peace corp, tending to a gang of adorable orphans, and in her regret she mixes a little self-awareness in there, as if she fully realises just how naive that youthful, self-gratifying fantasy really was.
By far the most annoying aspect of the film is its style. Call it mumblecore, indie, low-budget, whatever - no label can hides how unmotivated and nauseous it is here. The Duplasses' favoured technique are those jarring, jerking half zooms, which don't serve any apparent compositional purpose, but simply appear to yell in the viewer's ear and loudly proclaim its authenticity. While mockumentary shows such as Modern Family and The Office fully embrace the camera's fly-on-the- wall presence, as if their everyday zaniness has to be seen to be believed, Jeff, Who Lives at Home throws it in as a stylistic commitment it can't pull off. It wants to be real, but not too real. It has the neat, bow-wrapped ambitions and comedic situations well tread by the twenty minute sitcom, but ends up dragging out its philosophy into something far more pretentious. It might just be some wood glue, but the implication is life-changing.
Acting on the belief that everything happens for a reason, a 30 year old layabout sets out on a quest to find out who "Kevin" might refer to after a wrong number phone call in this brisk independent American comedy. Jason Segel is well cast as the philosophical title character who waxes poetic over how the seeming randomness in films like M. Night Shyamalan's 'Signs' leads to perfect moments, and while ostensibly pathetic (unemployed, living at home and no girlfriend), Segel moulds a surprisingly warm and likable character. His quest also has a delightful sense of spontaneity as he plans nothing in advance and simply goes off perceived clues that he finds along the way. Much of the film, however, revolves around him reconnecting with his narcissistic older brother, played by Ed Helms, who is rather grating. There is also an oddly slotted in subplot involving the brothers' mother, but Susan Sarandon is fortunately so solid and down-to-earth in the role that it seldom seems like a distraction when the film cuts away to her. Clocking in at just over 80 minutes, the one thing that can be said about 'Jeff, Who Lives at Home' is that it never outstays its welcome. The extremely upbeat note on which the film concludes seems a little at odds with the project's otherwise unglamorous take on very real people, but it is still a pleasant enough experience and one that leaves open some food for thought. The title character is the only person in the film who is content and optimistic throughout, so perhaps there is something to be said for being a 'slacker' in life?
Well, there are two ways to go about this movie. There's the way of a
nice superficial 2 or 3 out of 10 and then you can actually try and
understand it a bit. This was what I chose.
The movie is heartbreaking. It's kind of random and weird but if you go along and stick with it, you can see that this is a masterpiece. The problems it discusses are there more and more frequently the past few years. It's a movie of its time, and it touches all the sensitive issues.
It discusses about the alienation between family members as well as our inability to understand the different in all aspects of life, respect it and just nurture it. It also gets into the marital issues that drive so many couples apart. And although these seem a lot, and there are even more, it makes it. It gets you a small sample of everything, emotions flooding and leading you to maybe cry a bit but hopefully be a better person by the end of the movie.
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