For Reel

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)
April 12, 2012, 5:53 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Jay & Mark Duplass

Unlike the wayward twenty-somethings so familiar of the mumblecore movement, the Duplass brothers have matured and entered adulthood, and are now not only making their films for personal gratification, but for commercial sustainability. That is not to say that they’re disingenuous sell-outs, though one wishes that their maturation also involved more narrative risk-taking, or at the very least a tripod. Jeff, Who Lives at Home, their latest, sees Jason Segel star as a thirty-year-old who still lives with his mother. He is hardly complacent – he believes heavily in destiny, and is willing to let the “signs” that he encounters take him wherever they might lead him. Coincidence after coincidence leads him and his brother, played by Ed Helms, through an eventful day, and little amounts from it other than an endorsement of reckless spontaneity. One wishes that the filmmakers would learn from Jeff and start taking more chances with the stories they wish to tell. Judy Greer, who has mastered the art of stealing a movie with a single scene, is a redeeming grace, but the film never feels funny enough, nor is the sentiment as earned as the directors seem to think it is.

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