Title: Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Director: Jay & Mark Duplass
Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon, Rae Dawn Chong
One of the themes in the 83 minute Jeff, Who Lives at Home is to keep things simple and keep your eyes and ears ready. The simple message portion really rings true here. So many trivial elements are compounded just because of our insecurities. And in keeping with that theme, we’re (well, me) are going to attempt to do something most critics, and some readers, will render that yours truly is being lazy as Jason Segel’s living-at-home, pot-smoking character seen here: Not over-analyzing something easy.
Jeff (Segel) believes that the cosmos speak to everybody at one time or another. He believes they, cosmos, will eventually lead to a destiny. Mainly because he’s watched 2002’s Signs one too many times. Trouble is, he’s been so depressed, or just lazy as all hell, that he can’t seem to realize his true mission in life. That is until he embarks on a journey that somehow intertwines with his self-centered brother Pat (Ed Helms). Pat, a guy who does not value his tolerant wife (Judy Greer), thinks his younger brother is nothing more than a unmotivated burnout. Well, this burnout may have finally found his calling.
Though the story line becomes a little too convenient and is choppy in delivery, the overall premise or point is revealed during the reflective banter between Segel and Helms. While this does have some quirky comedy moments, the guys known for laughter on the big-screen, are playing it straight for the most part in this go around. They are allowed to let loose at appropriate moments – where they both show how much range they have as actors; and Susan Sarandon, who plays the boy’s widowed mother, also has a nice little subplot that urges one to break free from the rigors of life, even if it’s just for an instant. Eventually, the chatter leads to a purpose that will pondering as they leave the theater.
Mechanically, yeah, the flick is not perfect. It’s more of a thorough conversation that most everyone can relate to on some level. So if you don’t go into this expecting a bromance-comedy, you may walk out with a bit of existential knowledge.