Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Jeff (Jason Segel) is a shambling hulk of a boy/man who still lives with his widowed mom (Susan Sarandon). He’s a shy, goofy giant and according to his brother Pat (Ed Helms), he’s also a loser and an embarrassment to the family. To writers/directors Jay and Mark Duplass, he just might be some kind of holy fool, and so they make him the presiding spirit in an amiable little low-budget comedy/drama. Part bromance, part New Age farce, part domestic mash-up—the Duplass’ new picture runs off in a number of entertaining directions, without ever losing its deadpan dramatic edge. The storyline starts out small (mom calling from work and trying to get Jeff out of the basement long enough to fix a broken shutter in her kitchen) and charmingly builds its pell-mell way toward a semi-comic, semi-melodramatic climax in a traffic jam on a Florida bridgeway. There’s a heroic rescue, a series of eerie coincidences involving guys named Kevin, two kinds of mid-life crisis (with offbeat romantic implications for both), a pick-up basketball sequence, a spectacular misadventure with Pat’s new Porsche (which he can’t really afford), and eventually that shutter gets fixed. Pageant Theatre. Rated R.