Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Jeff, Who Lives at Home Movie Poster Image
Dramedy mixes adult material with worthwhile messages.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie suggests that if you have an open mind, you can see connections between all things in the world, as well as "signs" that lead from one to the other. Of course, it's important to have responsibility as well, but without a connection to other people, life is empty. Also: "the greatest day in the history of the world is today."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jeff isn't a superb role model, but he's not bad, either. He doesn't have a job, he smokes pot, and he lives in his mother's basement, but he's also a good, sweet person. He has a spirituality about him that allows him to experience and understand life in a more meaningful way -- a quality that helps him help others.

Violence

Characters shout at one another fairly frequently. Viewers see the results of a car accident on a bridge, and several characters nearly drown (though no one does).

Sex

Plenty of sex talk, and some innuendo. Married characters speak frankly about their sex life; they also kiss. Two female characters share a tender first kiss.

Language

Strong language includes frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as sporadic uses of "p---y," "a--hole," "ass," "damn," "goddamn," "hell," "crap," "oh my God" (as an exclamation), and "d--k."

Consumerism

One main character buys a Porsche and dines at a Hooters restaurant. Several brands/logos are visible in the corners of the frame, including Budweiser, Red Bull, and M&Ms. "Bud" and "Coke" are both mentioned by name once. The main character eats Pop Tarts twice, but they're out of the package.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character smokes pot twice. His brother drinks too many beers at a restaurant and then later drinks a "Jack and Coke."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a low-key dramedy with some vulgar content but also some worthwhile messages. The main character (played by The Muppets' Jason Segel) smokes pot, and his brother drinks beer and whisky. Characters shout at one another fairly often and use strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t." There's a fair bit of sex talk and sexual innuendo, and two women share a tender first kiss. On the messages front, the main character believes that everything is connected in some way, and the movie's plot revolves around this belief -- ultimately, all of the characters learn to be happier after embracing that viewpoint. Teens and up may find this movie rewarding as well as funny.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySincerus March 27, 2016

Mumblecore does Feel-Good

This is a great movie for anybody who likes low key, character-oriented stories. It is pretty mundane all around, the people are average, the city is unimpressi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byRobbShowMovieReviews June 12, 2012

k,jj

Heartworming sweet and mature dramedy is all-star worthy
Teen, 16 years old Written byHeheGonzalo August 16, 2016

What's the story?

Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in his mother's basement. A fan of the movie Signs, he believes that the world operates in signs and connections, if you're just open to them. One morning, he receives a call: a wrong number asking for "Kevin." Going out to buy wood glue for his mom (Susan Sarandon), he spots a kid with "Kevin" written on his jersey and -- believing this is the key to something -- starts following him. Soon Jeff runs into his slightly more successful brother, Pat (Ed Helms). Pat has a job and is married, but he believes that his wife (Judy Greer) is having an affair. Jeff wants to help his brother, but more signs are calling him. Can Jeff find the connection between all these events?

Is it any good?

This movie has a very thoughtful nature, and offers a positive message of being open to the ebb and flow of life. Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass co-wrote and co-directed Jeff, Who Lives at Home using the low-key style usually associated with the "mumblecore" movement. This style helps the movie's "everything is connected" theme work, since it seems to move so randomly; if it had been a more polished, planned Hollywood movie, the story could have been trite. And Greer, Sarandon, and Rae Dawn Chong bring some wonderfully introspective moments to their performances.

 
On the downside, the movie's laid-back approach isn't quite strong enough to effectively blend its comedy and drama elements. Rather, they seem to take turns over the course of various scenes, with the comedy slipping away almost entirely during the climax. Additionally, the humor isn't particularly outrageously funny, which might disappoint fans of other "mature" comedies a la The Hangover. But overall the movie's a pleasant and hopeful experience.
 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Jeff is a role model. Do the circumstances of his life make him a lesser person? How do his beliefs help the others around him?

  • Do Jeff's beliefs make sense? Is everything connected? What does it mean when the characters say, "the greatest day in the history of the world is today"?

  • One character buys an expensive sports car as a way to revitalize his life. Does this work for him? Why or why not?

Movie details

For kids who love offbeat movies

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