Monday, January 21, 2013

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

If you have read my blog before you know that I have certain actors and directors that are my favorites.  One of those is Mark Duplass, who is amazing at both even though he is only in his mid-30's.  From his performances on TV with "The League" to the big screen "Safety Not Guaranteed" or "Your Sister's Sister" he is brilliant.  However, his work from behind the camera on "Cyrus" shows that even with an independent film you can make a quality film if you have a quality script.  "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is that quality script that he co-wrote with his brother Jay Duplass.

The first time you watch this film, it kind of hard to understand what it is about.  It just sort of meanders.  But everything comes together in this one perfect moment in the end.  When you watch it a second time you realize that all this randomness is leading towards that perfect moment, but wonder if it is fate and destiny.  Everyone and everything is interconnected in this universe. Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs. 

The mystery in the film starts with a wrong number call that Jeff (Jason Segal) takes one day asking for "Kevin".  This occupies Jeff who is looking for signs about what to do with his life.  Meanwhile, Jeff's brother, Pat (Ed Helms), overcompensates for his failing marriage (Judy Greer) and is completely disrespectful to everyone, including his brother.  Whether it is a person wearing a shirt with the name Kevin, or a delivery truck for Kevin Kandy, the path that Jeff takes doesn't make sense to everyone, but it does to him and that is what is important.

The script perfectly builds suspense with every twist and leaves you guessing with the randomness that is the path that Jeff is following.  The secondary story of their mother (Susan Sarandon) is so cute and is a perfect example of what other romantic comedies are lacking in that spark and chemistry. 

This is a perfect example of an independent or artsy film that most people write-off as being pretentious or too slow.  But if you give this movie a chance, I am pretty sure you will have a smile on your face in the end.  Much like Jeff, I too cannot help but wonder about my fate and destiny.  This is a 4 Quack film that I consider a must see for everyone.  It is a deeply felt film about human compassion and complexity. 

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