A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
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?