Jeff, Who Lives at Home

  • Review Date: March 16, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dramedy mixes adult material with worthwhile messages.
  • Review Date: March 16, 2012
  • 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.


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).


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.


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."


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.

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?


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 the movie's very thoughtful nature -- and its message of being open to the ebb and flow of life -- makes it an overall 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 release date:June 19, 2012
Cast:Ed Helms, Jason Segel, Susan Sarandon
Directors:Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Studio:Paramount Vantage
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language including sexual references and some drug use

This review of Jeff, Who Lives at Home was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 July 9, 2013

Totally underrated film!

"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is a quaint, very funny indie dramedy that wears its innocent, fate-believing heart on its sleeve. Even though Helms plays his usual semi-jerk character, the chemistry between him and Segel is dynamic, balanced with a subplot with Susan Sarandon, playing their mother, that turns out just as interesting. The movie had a perfect, punchy pace that kept things moving, but I didn't want "Jeff" to end!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old April 13, 2013

Short review

This movie is not the best. But, it did have humor that was enjoyable and longlasting. Not a huge but not dissapointed
Teen, 16 years old Written byRobsterReviews June 30, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home Movie Review

Fantstic movie is almost a masterpeice. FYI: I would give this movie | 4.5/5 |
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools