Jeff, Who Lives at Home Movie Poster Image

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

(i)

 

Dramedy mixes adult material with worthwhile messages.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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."

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.
 

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:March 16, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:June 19, 2012
Cast:Ed Helms, Jason Segel, Susan Sarandon
Directors:Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Studio:Paramount Vantage
Genre:Comedy
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language including sexual references and some drug use

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Teen, 16 years old Written byHeheGonzalo August 16, 2016

My rating: R for sexual humor, language and some drug use

Teen, 17 years old Written byRobbShowMovieReviews June 12, 2012

k,jj

Heartworming sweet and mature dramedy is all-star worthy
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator 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 unimpressive, the plot is not really a plot but a web of who-is-doing-what for the short period of time the movie covers. The only reason it works as well as it does is because of the actors; Jason Segel plays Jeff with the bizarre kindergarten-teacher warmth he brings to all of his roles, Ed Helms is very good at being not-very-good-guy Pat, and Susan Sarandon is excellent as their lonely, frustrated mother. The Bad: Any red flags here are really more yellow - there is a lot of language, though if I recall nothing too gross (sex is briefly discussed with candor), Jeff smokes pot twice, there are two laughable physical altercations, and two car accidents - one amusing and one alarming, however nobody is seriously hurt. The Good: Jeff is a jobless stoner, but he is a nice, genuinely friendly, guy on a mission (even if he doesn't know what it is yet). Pat is a jerk, but he redeems himself in the end. Everything is tied up pretty well and they all live happily ever after, at least for the rest of the day.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing