Reviewed: Jeff Who Lives At Home (2011)

jeff-who-lives-at-home-trailer-headerThis is the story of Jeff (Jason Segel) a thirty-something-year-old burnout and his family who consist of mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon) and brother, Pat (Ed Helms).

Sharon works a thankless office day job while Jeff bums around at home smoking a lot of pot and not really achieving much beyond smoking more pot. Pat lives with his wife but the relationship is rocky because he’s not the businessman he perceives himself to be and finances are tight putting a strain on their home life.

Jeff has one task for the day (to buy some glue and fix a broken wooden door) which Sharon states must get done before she gets home or there’ll be trouble. He resolves to do this but not before he smokes pot and watches television when he receives a phone call from a wrong number. Or is it?

It actually is a wrong number but Jeff believes in the interconnectedness of all things and that the universe will lead him to his destiny. Fixating on the name Kevin, his drug-addled mind drives him to drop his duty of buying glue and gets off the bus he’s on to follow a kid with “Kevin” printed on the back of his basketball shirt.

As the day unfolds, Jeff and Pat’s paths cross (destiny?) and they team up to spy on Pat’s wife to find out whether or not she’s having an affair. Meanwhile Sharon has been contacted by a secret admirer who works somewhere in her building to which she has mixed feelings about whether it’s a practical joke or not.

Written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass who previously made Cyrus, this wasn’t going to be the smoothest ride through laughter town with the slice-of-life realism they bring to the plate in their storytelling and flawed characters. This movie did however provide some genuine laugh out loud moments and the characters are likable enough to keep me paying attention to the end.‘Jeff-Who-Lives-At-Home’-2It’s a well-spun story that pays due attention to its theme without feeling overly-contrived with exception perhaps to the climax but by then, I was hooked and really felt for Jeff, his family and what they all have to deal with. Perhaps it’s also that I feel like I know these characters to some degree and care for them beyond what I saw on the screen.

So, if you like your comedies a little bittersweet, this one’s for you. I look forward to the future of what these guys have to offer.

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