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Jeff, Who Lives at Home (+UltraViolet) [Blu-ray]
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Starring Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, TV’s How I Met Your Mother), Ed Helms (Hangover I & II ) and Academy Award®-winner Susan Sarandon, Jeff Who Lives at Home is the story of one man’s hilarious search for the meaning of life. As slacker Jeff stumbles towards enlightenment, he uncovers answers to his nagging family’s problems. Jeff has no idea where he’s going but when he finally gets there, he might just find out what it’s all about in this “gem of a movie that is funny, tender and ultimately moving.”*
*Mark Adams, SCREENDAILY
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Top customer reviews
I was touched by his character, who has retreated to the basement of his childhood home, where he and his mother now live alone (she lives upstairs) following the death of the father/husband, and the oldest son/brother getting married and moving out.
Jeff has withdrawn from the world outside of his parents basement both physically and emotionally, and is just waiting for some sign of a purpose for his life to reveal itself. That is the good.
There are some funny scenes involving self absorbed, narcissistic shenanigans by the older brother with his new Porsche, that rightfully conclude with his comeuppance. But don't be fooled into thinking this is going to be "the Office" style comedy. Once the Porsche is gone, so are the laughs.
The Mother’s storyline, highlighting her loneliness was ok, but I would have liked it better without her and her new romantic interest basically destroying their workplace, and causing incredible damage by stetting off the sprinklers so that they could have a cute first kiss. I just do not find selfishness of that magnitude to be attractive. Couldn’t you just go to a park and kiss in a fountain, or under some lawn sprinklers, or pull her into the workplace gym shower or something?
The real killer for me was the older brother. Here is a man who is such an insensitive jerk (and that is being kind) that at the moment his emotionally withdrawn brother finally makes and effort to come out from himself, and connect with him over their both having the same dream about their dead father, lashes out at him, and tells him he is a stupid stoner, a loser, and the dream means nothing. Then in a subsequent scene when his marriage is on the brink of destruction, and his tearful wife is trying to explain how she feels, he responds by cutting her off to tell her he will "try to listen to her stupid, inane babblings and pretend they mean something." That is level 10,000 insensitivity and I cannot imagine how her heart would not slam shut forever.
To really like this movie I would have to believe that the older brother could change who he is on a dime, and I don't see how that is possible. That is the bridge too far.
Without giving away the ending, though they tried to wrap everything up with a pretty, only in Hollywood, happy ever after bow, I felt rather empty. With little hope for anyone other than Jeff.
The film's main focus is the relationship between the brothers. Initially, the brothers squabble, and it's clear Pat has no respect for Jeff's lifestyle. Nevertheless, Pat enlists Jeff's help when he believes his wife is cheating on him, and the two embark on a comical chase of Pat's wife and her suspected lover across the city.
The acting was universally good, and the story was original. In particular, I thought Helms was great in his depiction of a man who feels both disconnected from his wife and terrified at the thought of losing her. I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers. Like many siblings, they don't always get along, and they are not always kind to each other, but their mutual devotion was touching.
What worked less well was Sarandon's story line. It's not exactly easy to believe the still-beautiful woman as a frumpy, lovelorn cubicle dweller. She has a secret admirer in the office, and she's convinced that she's so unattractive and old that this must be a joke. I think the reveal was meant to be shocking, but the identity of the "secret" admirer was immediately obvious to me. This whole plot seemed unnecessary and tacked on, just to give Sarandon something to do.
The ending was a bit melodramatic, but the strong acting and unique character-driven story more than compensated.
Most recent customer reviews
Cons: Usual left wing preaching almost spoils movie
“Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs.Read more
Can you exist for more than five minutes watching something happen in real time?Read more
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