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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.
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.
"I watched Signs again last night" Those are the words muttered by our
hero, Jeff (Jason Segel) a 30 year old stoner who still lives with his
mother (Susan Surandon) Jeff also has a brother, Pat (Ed Helms) who has
a wife and is far more successful than him in life. But on one certain
day all of their lives come together and change forever. The chemistry
between Segel and Helms is very brotherly and if I didn't know before I
would have believed that they were actually brothers. But, sadly there
are some problems with the story like one example is the camera-work.
It seems so oddly done with all the random zoom ins on the people's
faces and it felt more like found footage. And also, the mother's story
line wasn't that interesting and felt unneeded. So all in all, Jeff,
Who Lives at Home is good for a viewing and Segel and Helms
performances are what really are the best part of this movie and this
movie deserves to be watched just for that.
*** 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.
This sweet natured indie Dramedy by the Duplass brothers takes its
starting point from the movie 'Signs', which posits that the unrelated
trivialities of life hold a stronger more meaningful
And thus, after a wrong number asking for 'Kevin', slacker Jeff (Segel) embarks on a series of misadventures, ostensibly to purchase wood glue to repair a wooden slat, but in actuality allowing this search to reveal the unpredictability of a meandering quest for a 'destiny' of any kind.
Jeff's mother, Sharon (Sarandon) is a bored office working widower whose day is brightened by an instant message from a 'secret admirer'. And his odious, yet redeemable brother Pat (Helms) is struggling to hold on to his marriage with the potentially adulterous Linda (the often overlooked, but superb, Greer). It is these disparate narrative strands of a distant and dysfunctional family unit that are woven together by Jeff's pursuance of 'Kevin', told through a mildly frenetic and documentary like lens. The plot occasionally flounders, due to its own exploration of randomness, but at a brisk 82 minutes it's always engaging.
The denouement is a touch heavy handed, but perhaps necessarily so, offering a comment on the human need for a strong and complete sense of fulfilment. What we are ultimately provided with is an unpretentious and entertaining microcosmic view of the haphazardness of existence and the arbitrary nature of fate.
Oh, and it's funny.
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..
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