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Published on March 15th, 2012 | by simeon

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Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Everyone knows a guy like Jeff (Jason Segel). Someone who never really left home, opting instead to sit around waiting for a sign. Jeff’s family is not much better. His daft, unaware brother, Pat (Ed Helms), has his life centered on a marriage that is devoid of connection or even much conversation. Jeff’s mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon), spends her days de-stressing by staring at a waterfall picture in a drab office environment. But today a change is going to come in a big way to the people in Jeff’s life.

In “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” both Segel and Helms have taken on roles that are slightly more serious than the comedic standards that these actors are known for. Still the film is not so far removed as to alienate the fans who diligently follow these two actors to the theater time and time again.

The film’s plot is full of unexpected yet mildly realistic twists and turns. There are no big explosions or giant leaps of faith. This serpentine story is much more subtle. Many of the standout moments are realistically bizarre yet prove relevant, sweeping the audience into lives that have hit the final dregs of acceptability.
Visually the film is lack-luster. More than once viewers experience uncomfortable close-up shots of the less than attractively decorated characters. Still the script is well composed and crafted with such care that every word seems to naturally flow from the actors’ mouths. The story delves into so many facets of the human experience, from marriage to the building of a brotherly bond, that the tale itself is engrossing.

The characters are nervous, inexperienced, and closed off but the tale that defines “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” is entirely relatable. The film is not exactly enchanting but it was significantly better than I had originally anticipated.

3.5 out of 5


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