Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Rating: ****

Starring: Jason Segal

Essentially this is an awkward film, that’s not awkward to watch. The Duplass brothers’ signature style of capturing the painful humour that saturates domestic, suburban boredom is genuinely simple, yet emotionally powerful. Although their films typically don’t contain much substance, they’re undoubtedly carried by the characters, and Jeff is no exception.

We follow him on his optimistic quest to be open to the chance happenings of the universe, and which luckily have heart-warming, surprising consequences at the end when the plot threads (affair and materialist guilt) are tied together on a bridge. Unfortunately, this is the worst bit of the film. Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon are magnificent in capturing the naivety of Jeff’s faith in destiny, whilst he smokes weed and sits on the toilet. With genuinely funny dialogue, they all trip their way through the proceedings.

What should be an indie movie doing the usual eccentric profile of a loser slowly changing his life, is shot too much like a mainstream film for my liking. But, it does work, and the Duplass brothers art is capitalised by the excellent cast and soundtrack.

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