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Jeff, Who Lives at Home - Film Review

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by Adam Ray Palmer (subscribe)
A film reviewer, a poem dabbler and an admirer of words. They are funny things aren't they? Words, where would we be without them? On TV probably.
Published October 22nd 2012
Jason Segel and Ed Helms spearhead this quirky comedy about two brothers who have problematic lives that they slowly have to face.

The Headline Poster For Press Release

Jeff Who Lives At Home' stars two comedy giants of the late noughties in Jason Segel and Ed Helms. Jeff (Segel) is a stay-at-home brother who is yet to leave home. He is difficult, single and 'happy' enough to stay with his mother. Pat (Helms) is Jeff's brother who is married and lives with his wife but has marriage troubles. They are both dysfunctional and do not want to face their problems, which is similar to their mother who is lonely and looking for love but she is too nervous to act on it.

The narrative is quite simple. It is an equilibrium film that consists of an introduction, moving onto the problems arising, and then a solution is found, before ending happily. I believe the script is good but it tries to be something it is not. It is funny but it is also flawed in areas. I found it annoying at times but the elements of comedy keeps the plot going and keeps the audience interested. The Duplass brothers who directed this feature have produced comedy before with 'Cyrus' so they know what works, I just think this satirical comedy is not as good as it possibly should have been.

The cast is very respectable with the already mentioned Jason Segel and Ed helms, but also Susan Sarandon plays the role of their mother. The chemistry between the brothers is fluid and they work well together. Two scenes spring to mind here which portrays their brotherly love, one being when they have a car accident hitting a tree and the other when the brothers fight each other pathetically in the street. Both scenes are comedic but the pairs' on-screen chemistry here is admirable. Susan Sarandon plays an interesting role as the lonely mother looking for love too. The brothers are too busy with their own problems while Susan battles her loneliness in the background of the film. Susan's role is not necessarily funny but her character is important. She brings the family together, especially at the climax. She puts in a good performance.

The Verdict
To sum up, as I write this I feel a little bit let down by this film. I do not blame the marketing or promoting of this movie to be something of a smash-hit but I think it is simply my own expectations of Segel and Helms being so high. Their comedy films before this have been top drawer but I feel this film lacked an essence of natural humour. I feel it was forced comedy and I could feel the actors reading their punch lines. It just didn't hit the highs I thought it would.

Star Rating: 2/5

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When: In cinemas / on DVD & Blu-ray
Where: In selected cinemas
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