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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.
Jeff's a whacky, outside-the-box kind of guy, a devotee of M. Night
Shyamalan who's been looking for a Sign in some of the wrong places.
He's also a type beloved of indie screenwriters, of course, and the
Duplass brothers have come up with an awesome 45 minutes or so of
screwball comedy, preceded by a leisurely buildup and followed by a
listless feelgood ending, for a total running time of 83 minutes.
Good work by Jason Segel and Ed Helms (not exactly playing against type as Jeff's selfish asshole brother), Judy Greer (she's great but does she ever not play the wronged, put-upon wife?) and Susan Sarandon; haven't seen much of Rae Dawn Chong since she was a nubile cavegirl back in the day. Didn't expect they'd all be living somewhere outside New Orleans, presumably for tax purposes. The good stuff is really good, but I was disappointed the bros couldn't go the distance.
PSa cynical reviewer on Netflix suggests that an obscure indie film like this couldn't have prompted so many online reviews unless they were being churned out by "a small group of poorly paid people," to which I say: if only!
Jason Segel is a 30-year old stoner still living with his mother (Susan
Sarandon), who spends the whole film being stalked by her female
co-worker at the office; Segel spends the day with his cynical brother
Ed Helms whose marriage is falling apart, and looking for his purpose
Segel brings a lot of heart and humanity into his role and he's the film's only saving grace, but Ed Helms seems to not realize that he's in a mumblecore dramedy and not in a Judd Apatow comedy, and at any rate mumblecore with A-list comedians doesn't really work. The script is forced and uninspired and the cinematography and direction are horrible, the camera keeps zooming in and out and makes it almost unwatchable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We all have seen Marc Foster's Stay. We all have seen movies that
heroes dedicate their lives to give life to others. We have seen them
all...The Air I breathe, The Hunchback of Notre Dame...
What is it all about? A hero? A Subterranean homesick? A messenger? A saint? In my opinion movies like these are trying to convey the feeling that humanity is not dead yet. Well, I admire this slogan and of course the intention is pretty nice but it sounds like a false hope. It says we are living in a disappointing world that only those who have tasted the sadness can help others. It sounds a bit dramatic. Just like the proverb; poor are more generous! Being contaminated by gay and lesbian factors like Brokeback Mountain or Milk, it only tries to cover all range of viewers, new and old generation....
At the end; what do you feel about seeing your love having an affair with a stranger?
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.
'JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass wrote and directed this offbeat comedy-drama film about a slacker-stoner, who still lives at home with his mom, spending the day with his brother, following his possibly adulterous wife, while looking for signs to his destiny. The Duplass brothers made a name for themselves making ultra-low budget 'mumblecore' films, that became classics of the genre, and are now trying to go a little more mainstream. In 2010 they made the John C. Reilly / Jonah Hill anti-buddy film 'CYRUS' (which is one of my favorite films of that year). This quirky little 'life lesson' isn't quite as impressive as 'CYRUS' but it's still a more than decent offering from the brothers that's definitely worth a look!
The film stars Jason Segel as Jeff, an unemployed 30-year-old stoner who lives in his mom's basement spending all his time getting stoned and watching TV. He's a dreamer who believes in destiny and is currently obsessed with the M. Night Shyamalan film 'SIGNS'. He's watched it repeatedly and is now looking for signs in his own life that will lead him to his life's purpose. He receives a wrong number phone call for a man named Kevin and believes that's a sign that he must follow. His mom Sharon (Susan Sarandon) calls from work demanding he leave the house and go on an errand for her, especially considering it's her birthday. While on the errand he runs in to his brother Pat (Ed Helms), who's just gotten in to a big fight with his wife, Linda (Judy Greer), over the porsche he bought that they can't afford. While Jeff continues to follow clues which feature the name Kevin the two spot Linda with another man (Steve Zissis). They begin to follow her and a series of crazy events cause the day to become more and more hectic. At the same time Sharon learns she has a secret admirer at work.
The Duplass brothers claim they cried through the entire premier of this movie! I didn't find it quite that moving (they're a lot closer to the film though of course) but I did find it emotional and inspirational, especially when everything finally builds to a climax. The film was not nearly as funny as I was expecting, given the cast and the filmmakers previous effort ('CYRUS' was hilarious!), but there are more than a few LOL moments and the situations as a whole are very humorous. It doesn't really matter that the film doesn't work that well as a comedy though because it's still a very lovable and quirky little movie. The characters are likable (and you do end up caring about them) and like I said it's emotional and inspirational. I really liked the overall idea and message for the film as well. It is flawed and not nearly as good as 'CYRUS' but it's still a pretty good little film!
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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.
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