Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)

Film

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Starring: Jason SegelEd HelmsSusan SarandonJudy Greer Written and directed by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass

I think I may be a bit in love with Mark and Jay Duplass. Their films seem to balance the mundane and detailed with the whimsical and joyous. Jeff, Who lives at Home left me feeling warm, optimistic and in awe of how the pair have managed to weave such a magical tale from seemingly small subject matter.

Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in his mother’s basement, smoking pot and obsessing over M. Night Shymalan’s film ‘Signs’.  He believes that, as in the film, if you pay attention to the small signs in life they will lead you to your eventual destiny. After he receives a wrong call for someone named Kevin, he starts looking for links to Kevins,  a decision which takes him on a day which sees him helping his brother Pat (Ed Helms) find out if his wife (Judy Greer) is cheating, get mugged, play basketball and find himself in an epic traffic jam. Meanwhile the boys’ mum, Susan Sarandon sits at work receiving messages from a secret admirer. All sounds like small subject matter, right? Well in the hands of Mark and Jay Duplass it becomes an uplifting suburban fairy-tale.

The pair have stuck ostensibly to their mumblecore roots, the fabulous cast all putting in wonderfully naturalistic performances, but it feels like a much bigger film than the small scale story suggests.

5 out of 5

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