Jeff Who Lives at Home Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.