Jeff, Who Lives At Home, review
2011, ***, R
Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer
Jeff (Jason Segel, TVs “How I Met Your Mother,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) stars in this slice of life comedy about an unemployed adult child, who is probably ADD, or just hasn’t found his muse in life. This movie is not only realistic, it shows how crappy life can be, how people are in jobs to just get by, and how people eventually work out their relationships, and other life hardships we endure, but ultimately get through.
The film starts off with Jeff, talking about Mel Gibson movie “Signs,” and how he believes signs, and he believes that people should follow signs because there is a reason for everything that happens in life. Just that it is in his mid-30s living with his mother played by Susan Sarandon, and he supposed to be helping around the house, but since there most of the day contemplating various signs around him, whether they are in a TV commercial or when the phone rings and it's the wrong number he takes it as a sign and he should follow it.
The phone rings and his mom Sharon (Susan Sarandon, “Thelma and Louise,” “Elizabethtown”) tells him he needs to fix one of the slats on the pantry door, and she says she left money on the counter for him to go buy replacement panel. A few moments later the phone rings and someone is calling asking for Kevin, and he says there is no Kevin here and hangs up the phone. Then his quest becomes clear, he needs to find Kevin. He goes on the bus to get to Home Depot or the hardware store, and comes across someone on the bus with a shirt that says Kevin on it. Instead of going to the hardware store like he supposed to, he gets off the bus and follows the sky with a jersey that says Kevin on it. This guy begins walking over to a blacktop area where he's ready to play some basketball with some buddies. Jeff walks over there since down on a bench and watches them play, one of the players get hurt so they asked him if he wants to join and play with them. He does and does one heck of a job playing basketball impresses them all. Then after the game the infamous Kevin that he followed asked him if he wants to set up a joint. He does, and within seconds there's a bunch of guys jumping him trying to grab any money they can off of him, and the only thing I find is a five dollar bill he was supposed to go to the store with to by the part to fix pantry door. So much for following a sign…
Meanwhile Jeff's brother, Pat (Ed Helms, TVs “The Office,” “The Hangover” movies) is a retail store manager, is married to Linda (Judy Geer, “The Wedding Planner,” “Cursed”) and wants to make his marriage work but realizes it's kind of going down the drain. His wife also thinks it's going down the drain and starts befriending a male friend telling him all about their problems, especially how he just bought a brand-new Porsche, when their plan was to save up money so they could move out of their apartment and buy a home.
After just gets mugged he runs into his brother, and explains the signs all pointing to Kevin, and his brother thinks he's a tad wacko and they never got along anyway but he wants just help to follow his wife to see if she's having an affair which he suspects. They do so and get themselves into one heck of a mess.
Their mother Sharon has a secret admirer at her office job, and she finds out something very creepy about the whole situation. It's a rather funny situation. Susan Sarandon doesn't play much of a role in this movie other than a stressed-out mom of 2 -- 30 something-year-old boys or man boys I should say --that don't have their lives completely together yet.
The entire movie is definitely a slice of life, drama, comedy, yet a tearjerker because you feel bad the characters and their situations. However the ending of the film, brings everyone together, because Jeff is in fact correct that all his signs throughout the day were pointing him to his final destination. Something miraculous happens, and he believes even more to believe in the signs that we stumble across every day in our lives.
I was very surprised this film was entertaining to me because it started out very slow. If you are inpatient this movie is not for you because, it does drag a bit for the first 25 to 30 min. of the movie which is roughly a third of the movie, however I think it's a unique film and is a good one time watcher. Also Ed Helms and Jason Segel work very well together. Great casting choices!