Jeff Who Lives at Home–Movie Review

4 Stars

Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a surprisingly charming indie comedy about an addle-brained slacker and his family.

Jeff (Jason Segel) is a pudgy 30-year-old who lives in his mother’s basement. He is obsessed with the movie Signs and believes that it contains the secret to life. Everything is interconnected; if he can just recognize and follow the signs the universe sends him he is sure to find his destiny. At this point though he is starting to worry that even if he finds his destiny it might turn out to be nothing special.

His mother (Susan Sarandon) no longer cherishes any great hopes for him. At this point she just wants him to go to the store, buy some wood glue and fix the broken shutter on the kitchen door.

Unfortunately this morning Jeff received a wrong-number phone call asking for someone named “Kevin.” He is now convinced that the key to his destiny lies in finding someone named Kevin today.

This leads to a number of adventures, some of which involve his brother Pat (Ed Helms). Pat seems superficially to have his life much more together. He has a respectable job and a pretty wife (Judy Greer). Unfortunately he is a world-class self-centered, insensitive ass.

What makes this movie so enjoyable is that fact that it really likes its characters. (Even Pat, who deserves a couple of good solid slaps upside the head.) They are ordinary people getting into situations that are somewhat bizarre but not unbelievable. Over the course of the day they experience some personal growth, not enough to magically solve all their problems but enough to make the ending feel satisfying.

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