Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register now to see X-Men: First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jason Segel
Ed Helms
Judy Greer.
Directors
Jay Duplass
Mark Duplass.
Screenwriters
Mark Duplass
Jay Duplass.
Running Time
82 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Next Goal Wins
4 Star Empire Rating
Pompeii
2 Star Empire Rating
Other Woman, The
2 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Jeff Who Lives at Home
One stayed in the cuckoo’s nest


submit to reddit


Plot
Feckless 30-year-old Jeff (Segel), a firm believer in synchronicity, heads out to buy some wood glue for his long-suffering mother (Sarandon), only to become embroiled in the marital breakdown of his brother (Helms) and sister-in-law (Greer).


Review
Jeff Who Lives at Home
The Duplass brothers' llast film, Cyrus, assembled a cast of capable and highly watchable actors — John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener — and threw them into a partly improvised story about a divorcé whose designs on a single mom are stymied by her stay-at-home son. This time around, the cast is in place, but the deliberately bare-bones plot fails to coalesce into anything resembling a satisfying story.

The oddball title (doesn’t everyone live ‘at home’?) suggests that Jeff is someone who really should have flown the nest by now, and so it proves: as played by Jason Segel, Jeff is a lanky, unemployed man-child seemingly straight out of the Judd Apatow repertory company, of which Segel is a founder member. After an impassioned and amusing monologue about the staggering profundity of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, Jeff becomes obsessed with the significance of a phone call asking for someone named Kevin (“What if there are no wrong numbers?” he muses, cod-philosophically), leading him to abandon his wood glue mission to seek out this mysterious Kevin — and, by extension (he hopes), his destiny. Bumping into his exasperated brother Pat (Ed Helms) by chance — or is it??!! — Jeff seems to stumble onto his new purpose. But what is it? Proving that his brother’s wife is having an affair? Or something more significant?

Jeff Who Lives At Home is one of those films that introduces characters you enjoy spending time with — Segel is well within his comfort zone as the lovable lug, while Helms is effective as a petty, prissy asshole — but ultimately finds little to do with them, rewarding the audience’s investment with… well, not a lot. When it isn’t trying to out-zany a French farce, the film meanders as aimlessly as its protagonist, leading to a deus ex machina dénouement which feels contrived and atypically ‘Hollywood’. (It might even draw a few tears.) The fact that it requires a substantial subplot about Susan Sarandon’s secret admirer to fill out its 82-minute running time suggests storytellers who are, hopefully only temporarily, running on empty. Oh, and fellas? That seasick-inducing, 24-style camera work has got to stop.


Verdict
There’s undoubtedly comedy mileage in an irreverent sending up of the Signs/Magnolia school of everything-is-connected philosophy. Despite the calibre of the cast, the Duplass brothers mostly fail to find it.


Reviewed by David Hughes

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Jeff Who Lives at Home
Empire Star Rating

Satisfying

Went into this film with low expectations and i can say that i was pleasantly surprised. There were a few laughs here and there and i thought that it was a nice easy watch, not too challenging but funny enough to keep you engaged. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Li4mC at 10:16, 14 May 2012 | Report This Post


Sorry

No idea why it posts twice. Sorry about that! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danclay77 at 17:18, 11 May 2012 | Report This Post


You're Wrong

The fact it's a fairly random sequence of events that builds to some kind of satisfying resolution means that, like Signs, it's actually better than 3 stars I feel. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danclay77 at 16:07, 11 May 2012 | Report This Post


You're Wrong

The fact it's a fairly random sequence of events that builds to some kind of satisfying resolution means that, like Signs, it's actually better than 3 stars I feel. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danclay77 at 15:21, 11 May 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Magazine's 300th Issue: Guest-Editted By The World's Greatest Directors!
Spielberg, Abrams, Mann, Whedon, Fincher, Coppola and many, many more!

Video: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann And Kate Upton Talk The Other Woman
Prepare your mind for the concept of 'dog ball plumage'

The Best Barry Norman Anecdotes From His Empire Podcast Interview
From nearly punching Robert De Niro to the real story about ‘And why not?’

Fired! Losing Your Job In The Movies
The lowdown on getting dismissed on film

20 Not So Super '-Men' That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)