“JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME” (Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon & Judy Greer)
This is the story of Jeff (Jason Segel) who lives in the basement of his mother’s house. The odd part of ‘Jeff, Who Lives At Home’ is that for the bulk of the film Jeff isn’t at home. He’s at home when he receives a phone call from someone asking for Kevin, but then he leaves... possibly never to return.
To say Jeff leads a mundane life is putting it mildly. Jeff smokes pot, gets the munchies a lot and believes the movie “Signs” starring Mel Gibson was based on a true story.
The man asking for ‘Kevin’ becomes a sign to Jeff when he sees a black kid wearing a basketball jersey with the name Kevin on the back.
Did I say Jeff liked the movie “Signs”? We soon find out that he’s obsessed with it.
He stalks the kid with ‘Kevin’ on his back; gets into a basketball game with Kevin and his friends and seems genuinely excited when Kevin asks if he’d like to smoke some weed with him.
Ed Helms is Pat, Jeff’s older brother. Pat is the opposite of Jeff. He has a job. And a wife, Linda (the always adorable Judy Greer) Pat is high strung and somewhat of a jerk.
A chance encounter between the two brothers leads to a very telling line when Jeff yells at Pat, “You and mom will never understand me! And you’re all I have left!”
Jeff’s obsession with ‘Kevin’ picks up again when he sees a truck delivering ‘Kevin Kandy’ to various venues and hops onto the back of the truck to see where it takes him.
The adventure rolls through Pat and Linda’s troubled marriage as Jeff discovers his sister-in-law having lunch with a strange man.
Interspersed with Jeff’s Kevinly meanderings are scenes of his mother (Susan Sarandon) at work, discovering she has a secret admirer who throws a paper plane at her desk with a flower drawn upon it. The secret admirer then begins sending her Instant Messages.
So as mom searches thru the office hoping to draw out her secret admirer, Jeff is trying to keep his brother’s marriage from falling apart but not knowing how to do it.
Not surprisingly, “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” is a low budget venture; no hi-tech cameras, the film’s a bit grainy (going for that ‘realistic’ feel)
And it is realistic – at times too much so – it kind of meanders after a while.
It was entertaining with enough humorous lines to keep it from becoming boring, but after a while I just wanted something a little more interesting than Pat and Linda heading for a divorce and mom's secret admirer search.
Obviously, I won’t even give a hint as to what happens at the end – but it blew me away.
I loved it. Just as the film seemed to be grinding to a halt, thanks to a huge traffic jam, “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” comes up with a surprisingly energetic finale.
For a while there I was thinking to myself, “It’s called ‘Jeff, Who Lives At Home’, they weren’t trying to mislead anyone into thinking this film was going to be anything other than the life of slacker.” So I was content enough with what I was getting – it was an ‘OK’ movie... and then I walked out of the theatre thinking it was great...