Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 69%
Empire
Film Studies 101
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
We Are Many
4 Star Empire Rating
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Updated! Stan Lee’s Marvel-lous Cameos – Now With Even More Cameos
From Daredevil to... Daredevil?

11 Of The Silliest Sesame Street Film Parodies
From Aveggies: Age Of Ultron to Big Birdman (and back again)

Astonishing Movie Star Music Video Cameos
Hiccup, Rhodey and Spidey join the party

Podcast #158: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox
The Vision vs. Daredevil

Daredevil Season 1 Spoiler Podcast - Featuring Charlie Cox
The team discuss and dissect the Marvel / Netflix show

Richard Armitage Bids Farewell To The Hobbit
On goat-riding, keepsakes and saying goodbye to Thorin

Empire's Jurassic World Covers Unveiled
You're going to hear her roar

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire Digital Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)