Is there anyone in Hollywood as likable as Jason Segel? The rising film star has made a niche for himself playing lovable losers and Jeff, Who Lives at Home is no exception. In another actor’s hands, Jeff might have been too doofy to root for, but Segel injects a sweetness to the character that makes you keep your fingers crossed that he, in the end, finds his destiny. The rest of the cast (including Susan Sarandon and Ed Helms who were last seen as lover and are mother and son here- ew) are also strong in their roles as regular people unwillingly being dragged out of their ruts by the events of one day.
Jeff (Jason Segel) spends his days hanging out in his mother’s basement. He receives a call that anyone else would write off as a wrong number, but Jeff is convinced it is a sign regarding his destiny. Forced to leave the house to run an errand for his mother (Susan Sarandon), he follows a series of what he thinks are clues which lead to him getting mugged, his brother (Ed Helms) totaling his new Porsche, and the two brothers trailing Helms’ possibly adulterous wife (Judy Greer), before Jeff eventually stumbles upon his Kevin related destiny.
Written and directed by Mumblecore kings Jay & Mark Duplas, some will most likely find it too slow, but I tend to like slice of life films. Jeff , brother Pat, and mother Sharon are real people. There is a sub-plot where Sharon receives flirtation messages at work. Watching the lonely widow receive the messages with a mixture of glee and paranoia, is very touching and her admirer’s surprising identity is an interesting move that satisfied me even though I saw it coming. While it doesn’t have the thrills per minute of an action movie, I found myself shaking in anticipation during the film’s climax.