Posted on 9/22/12 09:58 AM
From the largely unknown, yet progressively intelligent minds of the independent, ' Duplass Brothers' comes a heart-felt drama following 'Jeff', a middle-aged man attempting to discover his destiny through his philosophical morals. Contrary to the masses of similarly themed Dramas, Jeff Who Lives At Home supplies the refreshing original story which cinema-goers are beginning to desperately desire. A story which has no heavy burdens of direct comparison to a book, TV programme or real life account, considerably working in it's favor.
Unlike many films of the same genre, the Duplass Brothers achieve in the portrayal of a realistic narrative containing not only relatable but also lovable character's. The moment we set foot into the lonely domain of Jason Segel, we feel it a crime to let go, portraying his delicate persona immediately through the mediums of simple visual signifiers and erratic decisions. As the film progresses throughout the single day on which it's set, a similar sense of attachment is felt with the other family members, despite their juxtaposition of contrasting personalities. Jeff's brother (Ed Helms) plays the misguided selfish caricature well enough to be believable, whilst the seemly lost mother (Susan Sarandon) wonders aimlessly around her office continuing on her linear lifestyle. Although the story may hit some inevitable 'steed-bumps of contrivity' they can usually be overlooked due to the context from which they've been extracted. Some occasions do break the stupidity barrier, creating magnificently fortunate situations out of nowhere, to the pleasant surprise of the character's .All occurrences however, contrived or not carry a particular importance, which build up to the final climax carrying bags of positive life-relating messages.
Much expected from a film surrounding the philosophical beliefs of a troubled man are a handful of life-implementing messages, however relatable or irrelevant they may be. The initial message remains to be the most poignant one, 'grasp every opportunity, everything happens for a reason' however many others are also brushed upon. It's very much the interpretation of the viewer to which messages they perceive to be the most important, a personal relation which will ultimately determine how much one get's from the picture . For so many messages to be accurately conveyed, a certain coagulation of relationships between characters must be achieved, which this film successfully accomplishes, through the accurate depiction of a troubled family . The brother to brother chemistry especially within this film remains it's strongest attribute, upon every meeting a relaxed comfortable atmosphere is conveyed allowing, the audience to do just the same allowing for more appreciation on the acting of those involved. This is a feat which is considerably helped by the almost child-like soundtrack, displaying the tiny steps of developing a relationship, raising the scenes positivity every time it's played.
In a year of conventional, 3-D action flicks and half-hearted drama's, Jeff Who Lives At Home, is a huge breath of fresh air. Despite it's inevitably predictable plot to the climax, it never fails to entice you throughout, gripping the audience through a variety of conventions. Heart-felt, meaningful and charming, one of the best film's of the year so far.
80%- Call this cliched, but Jeff Who Lives At Home is truly the 'feelgood film of the year'!