“Jeff Who Lives at Home” embraces heartfelt moments

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“Jeff Who Lives at Home” embraces heartfelt moments

By Wesley Emblidge

When you sit down to watch a film starring Jason Segal (“Forgetting Sarah Marshal”) and Ed Helms (“The Hangover”), one might expect a crazy, raunchy, R comedy. Although “Jeff Who Lives at Home” is rated R, and is very funny at points, the last thing anyone would call it is raunchy. Instead, the latest offering from the Duplass brothers (directors of “Cyrus,” “The Puffy Chair” and “Baghead”) is a very calm indie dramadey, similar to the films they’ve made before. Segal and Helms take on this new style perfectly, they slide right into this world and make for a very lightweight but enjoyable film.

Plot-wise, there isn’t much going on. The film is more about the characters. Jason Segal is Jeff, a mid-30s man living in his mothers basement. When his mother asks him to run an errand for her, he runs into a variety of distractions, all of which he thinks hint at his destiny. When he gets a phone call from someone looking for a Kevin, obviously a wrong number, he takes anything to do with the name Kevin as a sign, such as following a “Kevin’s Candy” truck.

His brother Pat (Ed Helms) is a near opposite of Jeff, a man who’s high point in life seems to have come and gone, and that peak wasn’t very high. He and his wife are having money problems, yet to try and “be in a more positive mindset,” Pat buys a Porsche without telling her. One could say Pat’s relationship with his wife is the focus of the movie, as it’s something Jeff and Pat investigate the whole film. Really however the film is about the brothers, finally getting closer, somewhat late into their lives. It’s a family drama in a way, with the mother (Susan Sarandon) getting involved as well.

Sarandon gets her own part of the film too, dealing with her “secret admirer” at the office where she works. It’s a weaker portion of the film, but Sarandon does a good job with what she’s given. During all her scenes however, we just want to go back to the brothers.

It’s a film with a big, obvious heart, it’s very open about it’s emotions and indulges a bit with family bonding moments. Nor is it very deep. However that’s okay, because the film embodies the central character. Jeff’s very open minded and optimistic, maybe a bit simple but Segal plays him as a real person rather than a caricature. That’s what carries this film, it’s short and light, but really fun nonetheless.