Film, OldVenue

Review: Jeff Who Lives At Home

Jeff Who Lives At Home marks the Duplass brothers’ second foray into comedy. The story follows Jeff (Jason Segal) as he searches through a surprisingly eventful day, following what he sees as his destiny, which consists of following the name Kevin after he receives a wrong number call from someone asking for a Kevin. This pursuit leads to Jeff running into his brother Pat (Ed Helms) and, from then on, their paths become entwined as Pat tries to save his marriage. Running in parallel to Jeff and Pat’s journey is that of their long suffering mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon), who is trying to get through the tedium of her day at the office whilst also being enticed by a secret admirer.

Jeff is one of the most relatable comedy characters of the year. He represents a holy foolishness that endears the viewer towards him, and this sentiment grows stronger as the story develops. He sees everything as a sign, something that is particularly irritating for the rest of his family, though as an audience member, one often tends to empathise. If anything this outlook is reflected in anybody with a love for cinema, after all that is why one goes to the movies, to escape to a more interesting, fantastical world.

The Duplass brothers’ staple of handycam style cinematography returns and at times it can feel slightly jarring, especially the zoom in zoom out shots which are used a little too often. Taken as a whole though, the aesthetic of the film works superbly, allowing all the characters to find their path through the hydrogenous middle America which they occupy and long to escape. The ending of the film is particularly touching.

Jeff Who Lives At Home is a breath of fresh air in this particular movie season. It is a purely character-driven comedy with standout performances from the whole cast. It is not your normal R rated American comedy, and as a result it seems wonderfully refreshing. It offers a truly enjoyable movie-going experience where the relatable nature of the characters is fundamental, a great relief from the mindless fun of your average Hollywood summer.

22/05/2012

About Author

joshmott Josh was the editor of Wired (now Gaming) 2011-2012.



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