By Sandra Kraisirideja
“Jeff, Who Lives at Home” is one of those movies where the description doesn’t really do the movie justice.
Promoted as a comedy about two brothers—one being a stereotypical man-child who lives in his mom’s basement and the other pretending to have it all together—”Jeff, Who Lives at Home” takes its basic premise and turns it into something more fulfilling and satisfying. It offers a deeper examination of love, loyalty and second chances than would first be believed.
It’s no small feat when a movie transcends itself, which is a testament to the skills of Jay and Mark Duplasss, who share directing and screenwriting credit for the film. The brothers’ last movie was the black comedy, “Cyrus.” By comparison, “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” is much more lighthearted and commercially accessible.
As the title character, Jeff, Jason Segel is perfectly understated, allowing the audience to build respect for him without first feeling sorry for him or being annoyed by his lack of ambition. Ed Helms plays against type by taking on the role of Jeff’s not-so-nice brother.
The pairing of Helms and Segel works well and if they are channeling the actual Duplass’ brothers relationship they do a great job playing siblings who both love and hate each other at the same time.
Rounding out the small cast are Susan Sarandon, who plays the mom, and Judy Greer as Helms’ long-suffering wife. While the movie is really about Jeff and his relationship with his brother, Sarandon and Greer actually get their own small story lines that contribute greatly to the overall theme of the movie, making it richer and more enjoyable.
“Jeff, Who Lives at Home” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD, both with UltraViolet for viewing on multiple devices, on June 19. OnDemand and digital download begins June 15.