Warning! Bits o’ spoilers about the movie below, but nothing too detrimental, IMO!
So once again, Josh found out about a movie I’d never heard of, only this time, we were supposed to see it in the theater, earlier in the summer. That didn’t happen, but when we went to Blockbuster the other night, this movie was sitting in the New Release section. Josh went back and got it the next night, and from the moment the movie started, I fell in love with it. And with no further adieu, I now present:
5 Reasons to Watch “Jeff Who Lives At Home”
1. The Cast
It’s a theme with me – I love casts. Frankly, a movie or show could be crappy but if I like the cast, I might still love the movie/show. This movie is not crappy whatsoever, but even with way lesser dialogue, I’d probably still like it, because it is impeccably cast, and not only that, but every actor brings his or her A game. Ed Helms is all over the place, in a good way, emotionally. Judy Greer is more likable than ever, and totally breaks my heart in one scene in particular. Jason Segel is incredibly talented, but I’m not sure that he’s ever been better than he is as Jeff. Rae Dawn Chong makes a welcome appearance from out of the ether, and is great.
And Susan Sarandon. I have missed her! She is mesmerizing in “Jeff Who Lives At Home,” as a widow and a mother of two grown sons that, along with life itself, keep being constant disappointments. She is awesome in the role, and on a shallow note, Ms. Sarandon is even more beautiful than ever.
2. The Hope
In one scene, Ed Helms tells Jason Segel (his brother) how much he envies Jeff’s hope, his belief in signs from the universe. The whole movie keeps coming back to Jeff’s search for meaning in life. We learn that Jeff envies Pat’s (sorry, I’m all over the place with names. Jason Segel = Jeff, and Ed Helms = Pat) life, when Pat vents that marriage is the worst, and Jeff says he thinks it sounds really awesome, to have a partner. Jeff feels very alone in life, and in response to Pat’s envy tells him that “(Jeff’s) not happy, at all.”
But he keeps on trucking, and SPOILER, starts to find the pieces of his life fitting together, sometimes literally, with wood glue.
3. The Pacing
This movie takes its time. Josh said afterwards that he was so glad it didn’t become something zany, full of mishaps and joining the circus. Because this movie really could have done that, and due to the strength and talent of everyone involved, would still probably have been good.
Instead, this movie does the whole slice-of-life thing. Some parts are more wacky and dramatic than others, but overall, “Jeff Who Lives At Home” is a simple, small, slow-but-steady study of some very dynamic, albeit fairly ordinary on the surface, characters.
4. The Relationships
Jason Segel does what he does best in “Jeff Who Lives At Home” – plays a man overflowing with emotion, who has no problem hugging everyone to the point of awesomely awkward discomfort. He and Ed Helms work fabulously together as brothers. Rae Dawn Chong and Susan Sarandon have a lovely relationship like none that I’ve ever seen in a movie or television. Ed Helms and Judy Greer have a brutally realistic marriage that’s all but dead, and watching both characters simultaneously mourn and fight for their love is awesome.
And underneath it all, is the family that doesn’t exactly feel like one since Ed and Jason’s father, Susan’s husband, died. Especially since as Susan Sarandon tells Rae Dawn Chong, her sons are now grown and kind of annoying, no longer the cute little kids that her idyllic vision for her life once featured.
5. The Truvy Principle/It’s a Feel-Good Movie
I’ve been watching almost nothing but “Buffy” for a month and a half straight. Then this past weekend, the vampires-and-angst was broken up by horror movies, including zombies-and-angst. So “Jeff Who Lives At Home” felt like tea-and-pizza coziness, after all of the scariness and sadness. Don’t get me wrong, I spent almost half the movie at the point of tears, but they were mostly happy tears. This movie provided many literal LOLs, often whilst crying – my and Truvy’s favorite emotion 🙂 I didn’t want “Jeff Who Lives At Home” to end. When it did, I cried once again, because I was going to miss it. And I felt so much richer for having seen it.