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"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is NOT a film for everyone. It is very indie
in style and features mixed up characters who are difficult, at times,
to like. It is far from the sort of thing you'd expect to see from
Hollywood, that's for sure.
Jason Siegal stars as the title character. He's a 30 year-old loser--with no job and living in his mother's basement. He sits around smoking a bong and has little going for him other than, down deep, he is still a very nice person. Much of the film concerns him and his brother, Pat (Ed Helms) who is MUCH easier to dislike. Unlike the optimistic Jeff, Pat is caustic--critical and not particularly nice. Their mother (Susan Sarandon) is frustrated with her life...though she has a hard time recognizing this. By the end of the film, events have taken place that both bring them all together and get them all to reassess who they are.
As you can tell, this is certainly not a traditional plot. It's much more like a typical Duplass Brothers film--with realistic but highly flawed characters that you grow to like in spite of themselves. However, unlike one of their films, they apparently impressed someone with money, as this one has major stars and obviously cost much more to make. Not a brilliant film but there are many, many small moments that you'll appreciate. Also, it starts off VERY slow--stick with this one.
By the way, in a supporting part you'll probably recognize Steve Zissis from anther Duplass film, "The Do-Deca Decathlon".
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his mother, slacker
Jeff (Jason Segel) might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends
the day with his brother (Ed Helms) as he tracks his possibly
adulterous wife (Judy Greer).
Roger Ebert called the film "a whimsical comedy (that depends) on the warmth of Segel and Sarandon, the discontent of Helms and Greer, and still more warmth that enters at midpoint with Carol (Rae Dawn Chong), Sarandon's co-worker at the office." And while this is certainly true, there is much more, too...
The film starts with a riff on the film "Signs" (and actually continues that riff for the duration of the movie) but then actually transcends the film it was apparently inspired by. This movie is more fun, funnier, more repeat watchable... and possibly even more touching. While not the perfect film (what is?), it should not have gone under the radar like it did... this had real potential. Have we found the next Wes Anderson?
A film about a mother, her romantically challenged son and her dreaming slacker son, all very lonely and disorganized. The story begins with Jeff (Jason Segel), a 30 year pot head that lives in his mothers basement. Jeff believes that everything is a sign or has a deeper meaning. He receives a mysterious phone call asking for a "Kevin", but he doesn't know a Kevin. He takes this as a sign. He is somewhat philosophical but is viewed as a slacker by his mom, Sharon (Susan Sarandon) and his brother Pat (Ed Helms). Pat is a mono-toned and pretentious salesman. We are introduced to Pat and his wife Linda (Judy Greer) at breakfast. Pat attempts to water the dying flower that is their marriage with breakfast and a not so welcomed surprise, a new Porsche boxster. This sprouts into an argument do to the fact that they don't have the money and that ultimately, Pat made the decision without Linda. Linda vents her frustration by throwing the breakfast onto the car as passive-aggressive Pat watches. We are brought back to Jeff who receives another call and is hesitant, it is his mother Sharon asking him to go out and get a new shutter for the pantry. She really intends on getting her middle aged son out of the house. Jeff than leaves for what is more than just a trip to home depot. He begins seeing signs relating to "Kevin" such as a kid with the same name, he follows the kid resulting in his mugging as well as crossing paths with his brother, Pat while he is at Hooters. The brothers than crash the new car into a tree. Pat pays some people off to not call the police due to the fact that Pat had been drinking. They spot Pat's wife, Linda at a gas station with another man in the car. They proceed to follow her around to find out what is going on. All this is happening while Sharon is at the office receiving hints from a secret admirer over IM. She is excited but also cautious because of her insecurities with her age and her body along with the fear of rejection, or being the butt of a joke. She confides in her friend Carol ( Rae Dawn Chong) as she continues to wonder who the secret admirer is. The movie seems to have a lot of content packed into one day. Jeff and Pat are chasing around Pat's wife, Linda, in suspicion of infidelity. Sharon is desperately searching for her secret admirer who has an inflated importance because of her loneliness. The film feels like a climax to a much longer movie. In the matter of a day we see Jeff conflicting with Pat, Pat conflicting with his wife, Linda and Sharon conflicting with both of her sons and all of them conflicting with themselves. The story results in the saving of lives along with the saving of their own lives. Through a series of traumatic events we find the characters re-prioritize and come together as a family. The climax is what made my rating a 7/10. It felt like everything was happening all at once (in a day) and made it feel pretty unrealistic. The movie than hit the climax which provided an interesting turn in the story. This comedy-drama felt like another Step Brothers (Will Ferrell and John C Reilly) at first but proved to be more of a family drama with a few decently funny scenes. Overall a good film even though I don't feel the need to watch it again anytime soon or really boast about it.
From Indie writer/director brothers Mark and Jay Duplass comes the
movie that was my favorite film of the 2011 Austin Film Festival and is
now available on DVD and On Demand. This quirky comedy stars Jason
Segal and Ed Helms as two very different brothers who are brought
together by fate and strange circumstances.
Jason Segal is Jeff, a stoner who lives in his mom's basement. He strongly believes in fate and that everything in the world is somehow connected and has a purpose. While sitting on the couch getting' high he gets a wrong number phone call from a guy asking for "Kevin". Jeff lets him know that nobody named "Kevin" lives there. He is then berated by a bunch of angry expletives and hangs up. This begins Jeff's journey through the film. He sort of reminds me of another famous slacker named Jeff, "The Dude, or El Duderino if your not into the whole brevity thing" I'm talking about one of my all-time favorite movies "The Big Lebowski" Although this Jeff does have his own style, their outlook on life is quite similar. His mother Sharon is played by Susan Sarandon, an office worker looking for something more in her life as she is starting to feel her age. She ends up finding excitement in the form of a secret admirer.
Ed Helms plays Jeff's older somewhat more successful brother Pat. He is married to Linda (Judy Greer) and has just bought a Porsche without consulting her. Needless to say after dropping this bomb their relationship in walking a fine line. Since they live in an apartment and don't have any kids, Linda suggests that it would be easy to go their separate ways. Over the course of the film, with Jeff's help, he rediscovers his love for her and what he really wants out of life. Finding your place and connecting with family is a big theme in this seemingly dopey comedy.
Taking place over one day Jeff has one job to do. Take the bus to Home Depot and buy a bottle of glue to fix a kitchen cabinet. On the bus he is distracted by a guy wearing a basketball jersey with the name "Kevin" on the back. He thinks this is a sign and follows the guy only to get mugged in the end. This does however lead him to Pat who is spying on his wife. She is having lunch with another man and Pat thinks she could be having an affair. The movie revolves around the brothers relationship and their misadventures. The Duplass brothers have a unique way of making movies that are very real and heartfelt. Although not much seems to happen in the course of the story, you can't help but feel like you been on a journey of discovery with these characters.
I must confess that my favourite type of movies are the low budget
independent movies. "Jeff, who lives at home" very much falls into this
category and it is very enjoyable.
The story mainly focuses on the relationship between 2 brothers Jeff (Jason Segal) and Pat (Ed Helms). The brothers have totally different personalities and the interaction should be very familiar to most people with brothers and/or sisters.
In common with many indie films there isn't too much of a plot to follow, it is all about the interaction between the characters. Segal is brilliant in the lead role and he's ably supported by the rest of the cast which also includes Susan Sarandon. This film definitely isn't one for the adrenaline junkies, but if you are into off-beat character studies it is very good.
I thought it was good. I enjoyed watching it and I was intrigued about
the character's climax. I was hoping for the relationship to work, the
secret admirer to be true and Jeff to find his destiny. I thought the
acting was solid, nothing over or under. Their was a few funny moments
too, I have to admit I did laugh a bit. But I respected it wasn't
comedy and it was better that way. Although, initially, I thought it
was going to be comedy because of Jason Siegel and Ed Helms
As the story progressed I was intrigued. I was genuinely worried about the characters and I connected with them. Mostly because how well each actor plays them and how much they suited them.
The ending was a bit melodramatic, it could have done removing maybe one or two things and it tried to be a little too smart for its own good and maybe that was a good thing, but not in my opinion. The film is no masterpiece, but it is an enjoyable little film if you like these types of films.
This is seriously the worst movie that I've ever seen. If someone offered me $100 to watch this whole thing again, I am not joking at all when I say that I would turn it down. This is not a comedy and it is not even remotely funny.
Nothing happens the whole entire movie... I literally watched the whole time waiting for some sort of story to come out of this, but nothing! Oh then at the end he gets stuck in a traffic jam and his entire family and everybody that he knows just happens to be there at the exact traffic jam at the exact same time. Then people are drowning in the water and he jumps in the water to save them. Are you kidding me? Did a fourth grader write this?
A few questions: 1. For the people that gave this good reviews, what kind of drugs were you on when you watched this? 2. Who in their right mind read the script and said "oh yeah, this is it, this is the one!"? 3. Why is this listed as a comedy?
If I can stop one person from watching this movie, I consider this post to be a success. I literally signed up for an account just to write this.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home so wants to be profound. That's unfortunate, because it possesses all the right ingredients for a solid plain-Jane comedy a talented cast, a unique concept and some witty moments. The problem is this film ventures outside of its element. It's not satisfied with the strictures of its genre; instead it so desperately wants to play like The Descendants and leave the impact of Signs. Not in the alien or carnage sense but in the "putting it all together with life's little lessons" sense. It endeavors but fails badly, lacking the equivalent talent, writing, all so important attention to details and of course the metaphorical prophetic girl holding glasses of water. Instead, what we get here is a different kind of family story: first, Ed Helms and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (e.g. Porsche destroyed - check. A potentially Charlatan wife - check. Apologizing to wife for HER infidelities check), second, Susan Surandan and her hunt for the office SECRET admirer and third, the protagonist Jason Segel aka Jeff the film's Yoda. In the end, they attempt that magic moment where everything falls in place, ala, Signs. It comes off so forced and, yes, predictable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All in all I did enjoy this heartfelt Indy dramady. Segel's character, aimless slacker that Jeff was, I was interested in his journey to find reason for his existence. His brother not so much, as Ed Helms seems to have a limited amount of tricks in his acting hat, he's always acting like slightly different versions of basically the same character. Their mom is the single saddest person that was committed to film in quite some time and it's a testament to Sarandon's acting prowess that my heart went out to her each and every time she was on screen. Her loneliness, desperation, and sadness was palpable. And while the ending seemed way too pat for my tastes, it didn't cause me to have ill will towards the film..
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME - 7.5/10.
I can honestly admit that prior to watching this film I was expecting a half-hearted attempt at a wannabe-indie-comedy; this is only because there had not been much buzz around it here in the UK so I foolishly assumed that it was one to miss. I could not have been more wrong. This film has more heart than any film I have seen in a while and it truly is beautiful.
The main reason I did decide to watch this film was the seemingly impressive cast, namely the two lead actors that are Jason Segel and Ed Helms, both of whom have delivered extraordinary performances in the past. First of all who better to play a slacking yet lovable pothead than Jason Segel and he does it with such grace on this particular occasion that when it comes to the second half of the film you almost forget entirely the fact that his character, Jeff, was essentially down and out from the film's inception. Then you have Ed Helms' character Pat who you are forced to dislike within mere minutes of being introduced. From the outset Pat is impulsive and inconsiderate which immediately provides an exquisite conflict between the two dominating personalities in Jeff, Who Lives at Home.
Essentially there are three different plots running at the same time here, the first being the most prominent which is Jeff and Pat's mission to uncover the secrets of Pat's wife, Linda (played by Judy Greer) and her affair. Surprisingly I actually felt that this storyline was the weakest in terms of meaningfulness despite being the most entertaining but I think that this is mainly due to the fact that it got the most attention from the writers as it is the fundamental basis for the other two plots. There really isn't much to comment on here apart from the fact that this is the storyline that generates the most laughs; mainly from seeing Ed Helms run around with a strained expression on his face as he tries to track down his wife (or Porsche, whichever seems more appealing at the time) while Jeff trails behind still half-stoned.
The second plot is the alarmingly touching sub-storyline of Jeff and Pat's mother Sharon (played extremely well by Susan Sarandon) and her 'secret admirer'. This took me by absolute surprise because it is just so far from what we would have expected to happen in a scenario like this. The easy way out would have been to provide Sharon with a strapping middle-aged role model to act as a father figure for Jeff and Pat however it becomes evident that the Duplass (Jay and Mark - Directors/Writers) brothers don't like taking the easy way out and I can't praise them enough for that. The turn that this particular plot takes is so fantastic that spoiling it for you would be a sin in my eyes you'll just have to go and see it for yourselves.
Finally we have Jeff's ongoing personal struggle to try and discover his destiny in life. This is introduced to us as soon as the film starts where Jeff ponders the film Signs (M. Night Shyamalan's multi-million dollar blockbuster starring Mel Gibson) whilst poised in a majestic fashion on the toilet whilst trying to figure out what his future might have in store for him and how he can use signs to help him find it. This plot is just sort of dragged through the whole film while the first two take the spotlight however it is in the final 10 minutes or so where you are once again swept off your feet. At risk of saying too much I will stop now as I really can't do it justice with words.
All three of these plots are equally engaging and perfectly written. The reason I believe these are perfectly written is because when all of these plots come together at the end of the film it makes your heart warm! It is absolutely astounding the effect that the Duplass brothers manage to induce onto their viewers with this movie! It is certainly not as dark natured as Cyrus (2010 release from the Duplass brothers, stars Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly) but in my opinion it is a lot more developed in terms of script and character development, it is also a hell of a lot more engaging.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home is marketed as a comedy. While it certainly does contain some comedic value I would say that this film is essentially a drama, and a very good one. If you were, like me, expecting a comedy please do not be put off because I guarantee that you won't be let down by this movie as it is in my virtually impossible to dislike. I may go as far to call this the most likable movie of 2011.
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