Jeff Who Lives At Home

“Everyone and everything is interconnected in this universe.
Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs.
Follow the signs, and you will uncover your destiny.”
– Jeff

Who can develop a simple story about the meaning of life in just under an hour-and-a-half? The Duplass brothers, that’s who. Maybe you haven’t ended up on a soul-searching mission after going out shopping for wood glue, but I think there is an emotion and experience anyone can relate to in Jeff Who Lives at Home.
Jason Segel is Jeff, who lives in his mother’s basement and has the responsibility on her birthday to fix a wood shutter on the kitchen cabinet. The project is the start of a long and complicated journey for Jeff to discover his calling in life, but it all comes full circle in the end.
The story itself isn’t funny, but the Duplass brothers use humor to tell it and provide a silver lining to the plight of their characters.
It’s also interesting how they connect the main characters in the movie, who are all family, through the problems they’re experiencing in one day.
The mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon) is at work worrying about Jeff and wishing she was anywhere but there when a secret admirer starts sending her instant messages. Pat, her other son played by Ed Helms, is in a marriage rut he thought would be solved by buying a Porsche.
Pat and Jeff eventually connect during their individual quests that day and I think their closeness as brothers is renewed. For Pat a test to his marriage, not just the Porsche, is a wake up call as is realizing his brother is not just a loser who sits on the couch all day getting high.
All the characters have to search to find their destiny, it just turns out to be closer than they thought.
On the surface it may seem like Jeff Who Lives at Home is a film that follows the overused premise of connecting characters on different paths in their lives through some common bond or event. I’ve seen it anywhere from blockbusters to independent films and maybe there is a small part of that in Jeff Who Lives at Home.
But, the Duplass brothers are always reinventing the wheel and any film they do is a just the right mix of reality and imagination. That’s hard to find in Hollywood.

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