Jason Segal is Jeff. He’s 30-something, smokes too much pot, isn’t all that motivated and lives in his mom’s basement.
A job isn’t in the near future. Reality just is not Jeff’s forte. His life philosophy is more universal than the mundane world of work. Jeff is influenced by M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs.
He’s seen the movie a bunch of times. Jeff sees signs everywhere in everything and wonders what the universe has in store for him.
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While watching TV — and after finishing some pot — a man in an infomercial says to pick up the phone right now and order some super vitamins. Before Jeff can pick up the phone, it rings. It’s for Kevin. No one named Kevin lives there. Later when Jeff is on a bus doing an errand for his mom, he encounters a young man wearing a jersey with Kevin on the back.
It’s a sign. When the teenager gets off the bus, Jeff bags the errand and follows.
He’s the wrong Kevin and problems with Kevin lead Jeff to a restaurant where his brother Pat — done nicely by The Hangover’s Ed Helms — is in a heated conversation with their mom about — who else? — Jeff.
Coincidence? Or a sign?
While taking Jeff home, Pat and Jeff see Pat’s wife in a car with another man. Pat and the wife are in a fight over Pat’s new Porsche. Jeff and Pat follow and that leads to another Kevin who leads Jeff and then Pat to another important plot point.
Coincidence? Or a sign?
A side story involves Susan Sarandon who plays the boys’ mom. It’s her birthday, and she’s getting romantic messages from a mystery person at work.
There are lots to like about Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Segal (The Muppets) and Helms click and their comedy give and take is terrific. Perfectly underplayed supporting work from Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong and the always superb Sarandon shore up the comedy.
Writers/directors Jay and Mark Duplass do interesting movies. Among them are The Puffy Chair and Baghead. This is their first shot at something more mainstream.
While it’s still a little south of the goal, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a clever, and often funny character study that leads the arrogant Pat and milquetoast Jeff on a bonding misadventure and you to the year’s funniest film.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home is definitely worth leaving home to see.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. It is playing at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.