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Film Review : Jeff Who Lives at Home

Jun 28, 2012 07:52AM ● By Justin Buettner

Jeff, an unemployed drug using loser who lives in his mother’s basement gets a phone call from a stranger looking for Kevin. Jeff decides that it is a sign that may lead to his destiny and decides to set out and follow anything with the name Kevin. This leads Jeff into his brother Pat who is in the middle of a mid-life crisis that includes the possibility that his wife his cheating. The brothers decide to follow Pat’s wife and catch her in the act but will this lead to Jeff’s destiny?

The Duplass brothers, Jay and Mark, specialize in what has been termed “mumblecore” films; a type of low budget filmmaking that uses naturalistic dialogue and circumstances, including an over abundance of talking to reduce the budget. Jay and Mark Duplass have built a reputation of doing tongue in cheek comedies in this genre and also buck the trend by casting big name talent in their films. However the disturbing common trend I find with the Duplass brother films are their fascination with awful people.

Having watched their films it’s striking that they have yet to put a likable character in a movie. Jeff Who Lives at Home has two completely unlikable brothers. One is a slacker loser while the other is an arrogant creep. To go a step further it has an unlikable mother character played by Susan Sarandon. Oddly Susan Sarandon has starred in over 130 movies in her long career and has been met with a lot of accolades for her talent. I won’t dispute her ability to act, but by in large I dislike most of the films in which she stars. Even the usually likable Judy Greer is reduced to a wimpy wife to the creepy Pat.

What is worse is the film is boring. It doesn’t help that you could care less about the characters, but even if you did the majority of the movie is about the brothers either wandering aimlessly or spying on Pat’s wife. In either case nothing of note really happens. Even the spying is oddly boring. The movie leads to an absurd ending that is far too convenient and in the end does nothing to really redeem a terrible movie.

While Ed Helms and Jason Segel usually star in main stream comedies, this is not one of them. There is a fan base that really like the Duplass brand of filmmaking like last year’s Cyrus, and those people will really like Jeff Who Lives at Home. But this is a very specific style of movie, and by in large if you are not a fan of this brand of comedy you will not find much else to like in this film.

Films like Jeff Who Lives at Home : Cyrus, Cedar Rapids, and Baghead

Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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