Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Jeff, Who Lives At Home

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references and some drug use
Profanity:Constant very strong, explicit, and crude language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situations including adultery
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drunk driving, and drug use
Violence/Scariness:Some peril and violence, no one badly hurt
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2012

Of course Jeff (Jason Segal) lives at home.  Just about everyone lives at home; that’s what “home” means.  The thing about 30-year-old Jeff, though, is that he still lives at the home he never-quite grew up in.  He lives in the basement of his mother’s home, and while he tells her he is busy when she calls from the office, he really does not do much but smoke pot and watch movies, certainly nothing by way of education or employment.  We first see him dictating his thoughts on yet another re-watching of M. Knight Shyamalan’s deterministic alien invasion movie, Signs.  In tight close-up, there is almost a rapturous expression on his face as he recounts the way that seemingly random events and choices turn out to be essential.  That enlightened insight about interconnectedness seems to have no relationship to Jeff’s being on the toilet as he discusses it.

Jeff’s mother asks him to go to the store and get some wood glue so that he can repair a broken slat in the shutters.  And it is her birthday.  So like heros in epics from the earliest days of storytelling, Jeff undertakes a journey and a quest.  He makes a rare excursion away from home.

Jeff may be going out for wood glue, but in his heart the quest is for meaning and connection.  The wrong number asking for “Kevin” he received that morning could be a sign of some kind.  And so, when Jeff sees a guy on the bus with “Kevin” on the back of his basketball shirt (Evan Ross, son of Diana Ross), he follows him off the bus instead of staying on to get to Home Depot for the glue.  After some misadventure — and a pick-up game — he runs into his older brother, Pat (Ed Helms of “The Office” and “The Hangover”), who has been drowning his troubles at a Hooters after surprising his wife, Linda (Judy Greer of “The Descendents”) with a Porsche they cannot afford.  Pat and Jeff get into the Porsche so they can buy the wood glue but once again a number of detours lead them astray, after they see Linda out with a man they don’t recognize.  Meanwhile, their mother (an enchanting Susan Sarandon) is receiving flirtatious overtures from an anonymous admirer somewhere in her office’s nest of cubicles and finding herself flattered and intrigued and nervous.

Writer/director brother team Jay and Mark Duplass (“The Puffy Chair”) are often credited or criticized for creating the genre of “mumblecore,” a category of 21st century independent characterized by inarticulate and often aimless characters ineffectually grappling with the transition to adulthood.  But it is a mistake to underestimate the strong structural foundation that underlies this film.  Both Jeff and Pat are immature and inclined to numb their feelings (with pot or a Porsche).  But the essential debate they (sometimes inarticulately) have about meaning and connection is nicely echoed in the seeming coincidences and randomness of their journey and the way they rediscover their own connection.

 

Parents should know that this film includes very strong and crude language, sexual references including adultery, drinking and drug use, and some peril and scuffles.

Family discussion: Whose life changes the most by the end of the movie?  Why did Pat and Jeff respond so differently to the loss of their father?

If you like this, try: “Daytrippers” and “The Puffy Chair”



Previous Posts

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions
Cheers to the understandably anonymous "Miss L," an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses to be hot (no matter what

posted 3:57:54pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4olpTxktM4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:09am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015
Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I'll be there!  From Chaz Ebert's blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard's silent opus in 3D, "Adieu Au Langage" ("Goodbye To Language"). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl

posted 3:49:39pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.