Jeff Who Lives at Home is an R rated comedy directed by the Duplass Brothers. Actor Jason Segel is Jeff, his mother is played by Susan Sarandon, and Ed Helms plays his older brother. The award winning film is only showing at our area “arts theater” so I’m not sure how widely it’s playing, but if you get a chance consider seeing it–especially if you like movies that make you chuckle and get a little weepy at the same time–and also that remind you life is all about letting go and new beginnings.
Jeff lives in his mother’s basement, smoking dope and mooching off his mom, and his existence seems stupefyingly aimless. We soon discover that he is does have a plan: he is anxiously scanning the universe for signs about what he’s supposed to be doing with his life. He acts on those signs in some remarkably sad and silly ways as the movie progresses. So simple a task as purchasing wood glue to fix a shutter (a special birthday favor for his mom) turns into an existential and supernatural odyssey.
As the film moves on we are drawn more deeply into Jeff’s bizarre, seemingly pointless behavior, and it’s soon apparent that his mom and his brother aren’t doing all that well either. The death of the family’s father has left some serious unfinished business behind.
Yet just when it all seems to be going nowhere, everything shifts and the situation explodes into something completely different.
And we are left feeling less assured about the distracted and overbusy lives most of us lead–and invited to ponder more deeply our own inner purposes.