Thursday, August 30, 2012

Recent release: Jeff, Who Lives At Home

I recently checked out the Jason Segel vehicle Jeff, Who Lives At Home by brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (Mark being the summer's indie darling). It has a noteworthy supporting cast including Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon and Judy Greer. From the outset, its a quiet movie about a slacker still living in his mother's basement. A comedy and borderline farce at times, the last third becomes suspenseful and dramatic.

Segel plays the titular character who is metaphorically lost, and uses what he deems as signs, or connections, to guide his life (Jeff loves the M. Night Shyamalan movie Signs and the movie opens with him watching the flick). Jeff is given a simple task by his mother (Sarandon) and he is quickly sidetracked from the errand by one of his signs and follows it. Thus the story begins to unfold as Jeff, by seeming chance, runs into his brother Pat (Helms), and they in turn end up spying on Pat's wife Linda (Greer) and so on ... Sarandon has a workplace sub-plot about realizing your life again, later in life. It is nowhere near as satisfying as Jeff's storyline, but it still shows Sarandon in a another light-- a less confident character than she often plays.

The final third of the movie addresses Jeff's unrealized life in a big way, changing your view of the character and the movie itself. Maybe Jeff's philosophy on life and decision-making processes weren't so crazy after all? It might make you to look at your own life differently. And I love that, because that is not at all what I expected from this unassuming film.

Jeff, Who Lives At Home
Find it in the catalog!

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