|Original title:||Jeff who lives at home|
|Direction:||Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass|
|Production country:||USA 2011|
|Running time:||Approx. 83 min.|
Jason Segel is slowly but surely moulting his way to becoming the very big darling of Hollywood cinema. In addition to his role in the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Segel has also been able to consistently wow movie audiences in recent years with charming roles in films like The Muppets, Bad Teacher and Almost Married. Now the mime has teamed up with successful independent directors Jay and Mark Duplass to prove that he can convince not only in rather shallow duds, but also in comedies with depth.
In Jeff Still Living at Home, Segel plays 30-year-old Jeff, who doesn't spend his time looking for a job or a home of his own, but rather enjoys smoking pot in the basement of his parents' house and musing about his favorite movie, Sings - Sign. He is convinced that the universe will show him his way, if he just pays attention to the signs. And one such sign for Jeff is a caller looking for a certain Kevin. That the man has simply dialed the wrong number, Jeff doesn't believe. And so a simple trip to the hardware store becomes a very personal search for meaning for Jeff, in the course of which not only the marriage of his brother Pat (Ed Helms) could go to pieces. The life of mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon) also seems to change fundamentally on this day. And even if all the events of this day at first glance have nothing to do with each other, so Jeff is sure: Nothing happens without reason and everything is somehow connected - you just have to watch out for the signs...
Nach Cyrus is again in the new film of the Duplass brothers a young man at the center of the action, who just does not want to fledge. But unlike in the predecessor, in which Cyrus' own mother clung to her son, Jeff's mother wants nothing more than for her son-man to finally get his life together, find a job and move out of home. She wants him to have his own life so she can finally enjoy hers. But it begs the question, is it really Jeff who is holding her back from being truly happy? On the other side is the brother Pat, who seems to have accomplished what Jeff has failed at so far. He is married and has a job. But he is not really happy. The marriage is in ruins, the work is determined by almost humble ingratiation to potential customers and the big money Pat dreams of, he does not make here.
With very restrained humor, which sets a pleasant counterpoint to the numerous quite crude or dominated by Klamauk US comedies of recent times, the individual characters are here skillfully unmasked and their hidden problems to light. And in the middle of it all is the somewhat naïve and goofy Jeff, who in his own unique way changes the lives of the people around him - and all because he thinks M. Night Shyamalan is not only a great director, but a true prophet. If that's not a good argument for legalization and marijuana...
Jason Segel plays Jeff in a very likable way. Even though he only slightly varies the characters he's played in other movies and especially in How I Met Your Mother, his acting here seems surprisingly unspent and just plain likable. It may be that the character doesn't seem particularly original, after all, 30-something men who just won't grow up are standard fare in the comedy genre at the moment. But Segel gives this rather one-dimensional character edges and a very high sympathy factor, which Ed Helms (Hangover 1 + 2) contrasts with his stiff, emotionally inaccessible and, at least at the beginning, rather unlikable Pat. The interplay between the two mismatched brothers makes for some very amusing moments, culminating when Jeff is tasked with tailing Pat's supposedly cheating wife (Judy Greer).
Susan Sarandon almost gets a little lost with her little plotline alongside her two movie sons. But even if the story about Sharon's secret admirer rather belongs to the weak moments of the film, it also does not cloud the overall very positive picture of this small, completely unexciting staged independent comedy. If you like American comedies a little off the mainstream, Jeff Who Still Lives at Home can be warmly recommended. Absolutely worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp