Jeff Who Lives at Home - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jeff Who Lives at Home Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 30, 2013
four stars
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2013
A man who believes that the universe gives signs about his life joins with his brother on a destiny-ridden adventure.
If you were to say that this film is too pat, too convenient, and overall eye-roll inducing, I would understand, but what do you expect from a film whose thesis is that the universe is guided by a cosmic plan?
The plot unfolds deftly with the requisite number of "must-happens," and Jason Segel gives a very good performance as the hapless Jeff. Ed Helms plays Pat as a man who is more fucked up than his brother but hides it better, and this is Helms's strength.
Overall, yes, I understand that it's hokey, but I found myself inspired and smiling by the end of this film, and it's one of the Duplasses finest efforts.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2013
A well-intentioned by meandering, boring film about largely nothing in the lives of Jeff (Jason Segal) and his annoying, jerk brother Pat (Ed Helms), and how the two can't agree on anything relating to life. As said, it has good intentions, but the fact is this film is a wandering mess that fails to come across as a realistic drama in any sort (instead falling into melodrama territory, especially at its conclusion). It tries to be funny and quirky, but aside from a few chuckles, there's not much here, and Jason Segal's outstanding lead performance is wasted on writing that doesn't have a clue as to where to all go, evidence being a shoe-horned romantic subplot concerning the boys' mother (Susan Sarandon), that feels forced and awkward. Pretty bad movie.
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2012
Odd little movie, but strangely captivating. I turned it on just to see what it was about, and I found myself going along for the ride. What a pleasant surprise! Don't dismiss this movie if you are one of the few like me that didn't care for "The Hangover" movies - this movie has a quirky depth that is refreshing, and smart. I would MUCH rather watch a movie like this than another "Hangover" movie any day!
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2013
Really good, pleasantly surprised by this. I really liked the story with the mother (Susan Sarandon), and her secret admirer. Also Jeff's brother and his strained relationship with his girlfriend (Judy Greer - excellent). It's not a huge story, but it coasts along at a good pace and cast are all very convincing.
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2012
"Wow! I didn't expect this movie to go the way it did. It was so emotional! I honestly didn't expect that. It's the second film I've watched tonight thinking it was going to be a comedy that would make me laugh and maybe cry happy tears, that just made me cry instead. Such a good movie. I understand this insn't going to be for everyone. But those of us who love what indie films are all about, which are quirky films with odd characters and great acting with great stories, WILL enjoy this. I LOVE Jason Segel. He continues to impress me. Him and Ed Harris was pure gold as brothers. There's a couple funny moments. Even though I was expecting the film to be funny, I wasn't disappointed when I got a drama with a flare of comedy. I really enjoyed the movie. I will definitely see this again."
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2012
An almost too-mundane look at a family stuck in a rut: Jeff (Jason Segel), who lives at home, (ha!); his mother (Susan Sarandon), who really has no life outside her sons; and Pat, Jeff's brother (Ed Helms), whose marriage is failing and who seems to only exist as the Better Than Jeff. Quirky because it all happens in one day, kicked off by Jeff going to buy some wood glue his mother has long been nagging him to get, and for its many ridiculous references to Signs, (yes, the M. Night Shyamalan/Mel Gibson movie). There were definitely a few "where is this going" moments, but before you know it you're into these characters and hoping they overcome it all in a heartfelt ending, which brings a new element into the picture: the family's loss of its patriarch. The shaky cam was annoying. Judy Greer was great. An uneven film that will be better than you might expect, but not a great one, either.
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2012
'Jeff, Who Lives at Home' is a somber yet heartening experience for any one. It delivers a great amount of comedy and great acting from all it's stars. The story is endearing with a great finish. It's not the most perfect indie comedy ever, but it does its job well.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2012
I like independent movies, especially unique/offbeat comedies. But more times than not, they are slow and not very funny. However, "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is the exception, as it has that perfect mix for a good independent comedy. Jason Segal stars as Jeff. He's a pothead who lives at home with his mother(Susan Sarandan). He believes there is a plan for him and he decides to follow the signs that the universe reveal to him to hopefully fulfill his destiny. That's the jest of it, anymore and it may ruin the movie for you. The cast is perfect. Segal and Ed Helms(his brother Pat) have perfect chemistry and play great off each other. The movie is shot and paced like other independent movies like "Greenburg" or "Rachel Getting Married". The camera is kind of shaky, showing different angles, with a very realistic vibe to it. Sometimes it's annoying, but it works pretty good here. I'm sure in the hands of different directors this could have been a true slapstick comedy, but luckily, it's grounded and very heartfelt. Not perfect by any means, but effective and very entertaining.
Super Reviewer
March 9, 2012
Small, sincere, touching, and heartfelt. "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is the type of film that is the perfect little film for the type of story it is telling. As a man receives a mysterious phone call who asks for a man by the name of Kevin, Jeff, who lives at home with his mother, must find what this name means. Alongside of this story, is his brother Pat, who is having relationship and financial problems. When the two collide, a sense of fulfillment clouds the film. Their mother, played wonderfully by Susan Sarandon, is a woman who is struggling to find herself a soulmate, when someone happens to pop up on her computer. This film takes many turns for the best. The editing, fast zooms, simple camerawork, acting, and most of all, the story, are all phenomenal. You may feel like you have seen some of these elements in a film in the past, but altogether, it makes for a stunningly beautiful picture. "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is one of the best films of 2012!
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2012
Starting is boring but slowly it gets interesting.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2012
I'm delighted that the Duplass Brothers have turned into the It Boys of the early 21st century. They continue to make films together, and Mark Duplass keeps getting hired as an actor as well. I can't keep up with all of his acting credits lately. I discovered the Duplasses in 2008, when they released their hand-made postmodern deconstruction of the horror genre, "Baghead."

I certainly wouldn't have predicted that they would become popular, given that they so completely go against the grain of the dominant culture. In a time that is so brainless, they continue to bring forth thoughtful, unique material that is decidedly un-pretty and often downright difficult to watch -- and sometimes quite brainy.

The fourth film that they have made together, "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" (after "Puffy Chair," "Baghead," and "Cyrus"), initially seems like it's going to resemble a Judd Apatow comedy, with the reference in the title to a 30-year-old man who still lives with his mother. The title was probably a huge mistake because it gives the impression that the film is derivative.

While "Jeff" does to some degree operate within a hackneyed paradigm (isn't it funny that so many young men today are overgrown boys), and yes, it does make use of the mumble-core style that was already tired and played out 10 years ago. But it has other elements that give it strength.

First of all, it's not a comedy. By casting Jason Segel (an Apatow regular) and Ed Helms (a comedic legend due to his work in the "Hangover" films), the Duplasses lure you in expecting comedy. There are some chuckles in "Jeff," but what you mostly get is Segel and Helms portraying broken men who have a tough time finding anything to laugh about. Both men deliver beautiful performances that you will probably remember for a long time.

To prepare for the role, Segel appears to have eaten only junk food for two months straight. His body is bloated and borderline revolting. I love it when a movie star has the guts to be ugly in a film. But the bigger, more satisfying surprise is how Helms's performance comes up behind you and wallops you with its emotional depth and honesty. Helms has a tremendous amount to be proud of here. I even think he might get some Oscar buzz from this, similar to what happened for Jonah Hill last year ("Moneyball") and Adam Sandler in 2009 ("Funny People").

It's a real thrill to see actors known for comedy being given the chance to show how much more is going on inside of them.

Then there's Susan Sarandon, who plays a middle-aged widow yearning to reignite her passion for life. "Jeff" is not a great film, but it's a worthy one. And it deserved more attention than it got when it was released.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2012
Jeff, Who Lives at Home may not be a perfect film as a whole, but it is brimming with heart. And although the jerky cinematography can be a bit jarring at times & the implausibility of some of it will nag on those parts of your brain that desperately search for logic, the film has a quiet charm that will most likely win you over.
I attribute much of this to a good script and more importantly Segel, who I have been very hard on in the past but absolutely loved here. It is easily my favorite role that he has done post Freaks and Geeks. While Segel is great, Helms and Greer's performances aren't anything to shake a stick at either.
I appreciate the Duplass brothers' approach to filmmaking. I really do. But for this film I wished they would have decided to forgo the improvisation and worked out some of the kinks in the story. Yet, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is still a sweet, albeit flawed, film that in the end will leave you with a smile on your face.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2012
Jeff, Who Lives at Home it's other simple and funny comedy by Duplass brothers. They bring again the theme of family and teenager in adults. Sweet and charming.
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2012
I really like this film. This is one of those under the raidar gems that not many people have seen but every person should. It starts out with Jason Segel talking about one of the most underated films ever SIGNS. Jeff lives his entire life on the concept of signs. No no no, not alians. The idea that everything happens for a reason. I know that this concept has been used time and time again but the character of Jeff holds nothing back. He lives his entire life off this like a faith. Him and Ed Helms play off of eachother well and didn't try to out act eachother but rather find a way to juxtapose the two characters. I dont know why they needed the extra plot of the mom and her 'secret crush'. That just felt forced and I didn't like it. Other then that, I loved the direction this film went. Every stoner who lives with his parents are going to look at this film like a bible and will think their Jeff. Find it, watch it, enjoy it. 8/10
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2012
"The first step to finding your destiny is leaving your mother's basement."

Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.

Pleasant comedy-drama about slacker Jeff (Jason Segel), a thirty-year-old who still lives in his mother's basement because he keeps thinking signs will show him his destiny. One day he believes he's following one of those signs and he ends up spending time with his brother (Ed Helms) who believes his wife (Judy Greer) is cheating on him. Jeff, Who Lives At Home isn't the flat-out comedy that the trailers want you to believe and at times I was a little surprised to see how serious it was getting. With that said, the screenplay really doesn't go for either laughs or drama as its main goal and instead it really just seems like a slice of life tale centered on a few hours in these brother's lives. I think what the film does the best is offer up some very good performances from the leads.

Segel is completely believable in his role as the pothead trying to figure out his meaning in life. I thought the actor played the stoner bit extremely well but even more impressive was the way he was able to play the dramatic moments because this is where you feel for the character. Helms plays the same type of role that he often does and that's the jerk who needs to realize who he really is. Segel and Helms really do come across like real brothers and this certainly helps the film. Greer easily steals the movie as the wife and Susan Sarandon does a very good job in the role of the mother. Even Rae Dawn Chong does a good job in her bit. The one thing that really bothered me about the movie was its look and especially some annoying small zoom shots. These little zooms happen throughout the film and I'm really not sure why but they got quite annoying after a while. Still, the performances are what make the film and they're good enough to where the film just comes off very pleasant and entertaining.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2012
A tad quirky, lovable and lifelike, Jeff is the essentially flawed protagonist with a heart of gold. Usually these misanthropic characters are followed up with small minded intelligence or more eccentricities, but Jeff is much more relatable because he has obviously made a lot of mistakes and finds himself without respect or understanding from his family. Though the story is really about Jeff and his coping with real life and fate, as he calls it, it's also about the bringing together of a family and the problems that keep them apart in their private lives. Also under the scope of the film is Jeff's brother Pat and his wife Linda who are having issues in their marriage, and their mother, who is being pursued by a secret admirer at her workplace. The Duplass brothers make small, important indie films, deemed comedies, but usually uncomfortably tight, embarrassing comedy. Here there is little evidence to suggest that this was comedic in any sense, except the intricately sweet moments between two brothers with little to lose. Winding the three stories together with the name "Kevin" and Jeff's sense of wonder at the world, the film sometimes lingers at times when the story calls for a point, and gives a sense of feel good lightheartedness when it focuses on the biases and problems between each set of characters, especially Jeff and Pat. Each character is fleshed out, which was amazing for the short run time and full plot the movie gave. The ending and the reason behind everything that happens wasn't phenomenally new, but it was exciting, soul purifying simple, and it really made for a good watch. The best Duplass collaboration so far.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2012
The first step to finding your destiny is leaving your mother's basement.

Good movie! More than I expected. Don't let the title scare you away, 'Jeff, Who lives At Home' is a deep character study about three unhappy people and the meaningless existences they each inhabit. Is a nice, sweet movie of no real significance. It is appropriately funny when it needs to be; dramatic when it needs to be; and moving when the need arises. Thru it all this film showcases that a lot can occur in the lives of people during a day, some of it is just unexpected and crazy still it proves life is complex and a struggle and still love and happiness is possible. Overall good film about the struggles of life, family, relationships and it shows life takes unexpected twist and turns.

Directing brothers Jay and Mark Duplass examine fate and family in the comedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home, starring Jason Segel as the title character, a slacker who still lives with his mother. He spends the vast majority of his time smoking pot and explaining how he's waiting to understand his own fate, using the film Signs as the model for how he takes in the world. His brother Pat (Ed Helms) is a salesman in a mid-life crisis having purchased a sweet new sports car over the objections of his wife (Judy Greer). After Jeff answers the phone and a voice demands to speak to "Kevin," the stoner believes this is the sign he's been waiting for. During the course of the day, Jeff and Pat will confront their issues with each other, while their long-suffering mother (Susan Sarandon) may find love for the first time since the death of her husband.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2012
Jeff: You ever feel like you were waiting forever to figure out what your destiny is?

"The first step to finding your destiny is leaving your mother's basement."

Another good but not great Duplass brothers film. Everything I've seen from them is always solid. They make quiet little Indie comedies that definitely aren't for everyone. Jeff, Who Lives at Home is typical Duplass. It is a comedy that doesn't try to hard to create laughs and is also one that has a heart. As much as I liked Jeff, Who Lives at Home, I wouldn't blame anyone who couldn't find much in it. It isn't laugh out loud funny, it isn't extremely entertaining, and the ending(although I liked it) could seem like a bit of a copout on the part of Duplass'. That's all I'm going to say bad about the movie, and I don't even have any problems with those things.

Jeff is a 30 year old who still lives with his mother. Our first encounter with him is him hitting  a bong in his mothers basement. He doesn't have any real ambition, but he is always wondering about his destiny. His mother calls and asks him to pick up some wood glue, which makes him actually leave the house. This sets a chain reaction that takes him to his destiny. I like the idea from the Duplass'. I think it is smart and the way they play everything out is pretty well done. 

The number one selling point for this film, for me at least, is Jason Segal in the lead as Jeff. This is an underrated actor who has finely began getting some good lead roles; mostly in comedies. I won't say that his performance is Oscar caliber, but it is a solid performance. Segal is a funny guy and he doesn't have to try to hard to create his laughs. He seems like a real guy in everything that he's in, which is something Duplass movies are good for. They create real life characters without all the added gimmicks that are found in the average comedy.

It's not perfect, but it doesn't need to be. It ends up being a pretty touching film that is well worth the watch. It isn't going to be the most exciting movie you watch this year, but it may be the most inspiring. 
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