By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
Jeff (Jason Segel) is a thirty-something slacker, living in his mother’s basement. And he is in search of a path.
Pat (Ed Helms) is Jeff’s brother, he is a moderately successful businessman, who lives in a moderate apartment with his moderately frustrated wife. Moderately frustrated that is, until Pat comes home with an expensive new dick magnifier. A car that will now keep them in the apartment, instead of putting a downpayment on a home.
Sharon (Susan Sarandon) is Jeff and Pat’s mother, and like her sons also is hopelessly lost. Her husband having passed away long ago, her love life has been in auto-pilot. She suddenly begins receiving messages from a secret admirer, who works in the same cubicle farm as her.
Their stories come together one one very special day, when in the midst of a bong binge Jeff receives a phone call from someone looking for Kevin, it is a wrong number, but it might mean so much more…
Fuck no, Hmmm… no.
With a sense of humor drier than the Sahara, and a story torn from the headlines of non-events, you’d think that Jeff, Who Lives at Home would be a relatively forgettable movie. Patient audiences will find within this a poignant story of finding one’s direction in life. Ed Helms’ mid-life crisis seems to have come early in age, but his performance is compelling. Even though he seems smarter and more well adjusted than Jeff, his juvenile behavior manifests itself in bigger ways. Jeff on the other hand is a Socratic pothead, unlike Pat he recognizes that he has no idea what he’s doing with his life, but he is always in pursuit of enlightenment… And weed… mostly weed…
The entire movie, from Jeff’s point of view…
If I had any real complaint, it is that the ending feels a bit forced. The events in the lives of the brothers and their mother all converge on a single moment that feels fairly predictable, even maudlin. This is unfortunate, as the rest of the film takes an honest view of the listlessness that often develops living without direction. Don’t get me wrong, I see where the filmmakers were going with the ending, but if it was thought through a little more, they could have at least found a way to make it work better within the story they were telling. It isn’t a terrible ending, just far weaker than the build up would have you want.
Nearly a wonderful microbrew, but it’ll have to settle for middle-shelf.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever the name “Kevin” is referenced.
Take a Drink: for every bad decision.
Drink a Shot: when the Porsche bites the dust (because fuck Porsches)