Parents' Guide to

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dramedy mixes adult material with worthwhile messages.

Movie R 2012 83 minutes
Jeff, Who Lives at Home Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

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.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (6):

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.

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