I wanted to watch Jeff Who Lives at Home primarily for Jason Segel who is adorable as Marshall Eriksen on the TV series How I Met Your Mother. However, I was a little afraid, movies about guys who still live in their mother’s basements can be either adorable or annoying as hell, depending on how the main character is portrayed. Luckily Jeff is more adorable and oddly profound than juvenile and annoying. Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in his mother’s basement; a slacker/dreamer taking bong hits while trying to figure out life. Jeff loves the M. NIght Shyamalan movie Signs and is always looking for the signs in his own life. For Jeff it all starts with a wrong number call for someone named Kevin. We are along for the ride as Jeff tries to follow the signs to a meaning, a destiny, including stalking a guy on the bus whose jersey has Kevin written on the back.
Along the way we encounter Pat (Ed Helms), Jeff’s brother who is a jerk of epic proportions. Pat tries way too hard to look successful including buying a Porsche to make up for his crumbling marriage. He and Jeff spot Pat’s wife Linda (Judy Greer) with another man. Pat automatically assumes she is having an affair and they follow her to prove it. There is also Jeff and Pat’s mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon). Not only does she have to deal with Jeff’s lack of motivation at finding a job or moving out, but also his attitude when all she wants him to do is fix a slat in a closet door. Considering it’s her birthday, it’s the least he could do. But she has another issue, she’s being instant messaged by a secret admirer at work. Is it just a prank or could someone be interested in her older and widowed self? Amazingly all these stories come together in the end in a way that is fairly satisfying.
Jeff Who Lives at Home is a quirky and very touching film. I think what makes the movie is that the characters are so believable and that’s how it pulls you in. In the beginning you are like this is so lame, I’m not watching this but you do and soon you realize you are taken in by Jeff’s quest, you are enamored with Sharon, and you really want to punch Pat. Next thing you know the movie is over and you kinda miss them already. Or maybe that was just me.