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“I watched Signs again last night. It keeps getting better every time I see it. It’s funny, the first time you watch it, it’s kinda hard to understand what it’s about. It just sort of meanders. And then, everything comes together in this one perfect moment at the end.”

Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a great slacker comedy. For what it is, this is a perfect movie.

With a scant runtime of only 83 minutes, you should place this in your Netflix queue or just watch it streaming online right now. Jason Segel is the clear-cut star of this film as Jeff, the title character and it wouldn’t work without him—threatening to teeter on the brink of being a chaotic mess.

But there’s a certain authenticity to Jason Segel that creates an emotional core for Jeff, Who Lives at Home. As a viewer, this is a slice of life movie that provides an insight into Jeff’s life, which involves watching him try to connect the dots of seemingly random events in the name of a higher destiny or some sort of cosmic order. Everything happens for a reason—regardless of how random these events may appear.

Aside from spoiling Signs within the first few minutes, the beginning of this movie serves as an ideal introduction to Jeff’s character. All it takes is a wrong-number call looking for someone named Kevin to put Jeff’s day in action, which inevitably becomes intertwined with his brother, Pat (played by Ed Helms). Unbelievably, Ed Helms has turned into a steady, reliable actor, and he does a great job bringing this unlikable, slightly douchey character to life.  Judy Greer is great as always as Pat’s wife, and their rocky relationship is the impetus for the action of this story—you may not know Judy Greer’s name, but I guarantee you would recognize her from something in her catalog. Susan Sarandon also provides a great performance to round out a surprisingly strong supporting cast as Jeff’s mother, Sharon.  All of these parts work together to create a cohesive, somewhat crazy whole that miraculously makes sense.

Brothers

Set adrift after the death of his dad, Jeff is lovable loser with a heart of gold living at home with his mom—the only other likable character. However, this movie works so well because it is a comedic character study with just enough emotional investment setting up the drama. It’s the right amount of sappy context.

Everyone knows the manchild angle has been done to death in movies, but Jeff, Who Lives at Home brings a unique perspective in that it’s actually touching. Not many comedies manage to make you care about the characters. If you’re anything like me, then the room may suddenly become a bit dusty near the end. And I would pay the price of admission to see Jason Segel’s giant awkward ass sprinting as fast as possible.

Just like with the movie itself, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry. I did both.

I can’t talk much about the story without ruining some surprise laughs and interesting turns in this solid script. Remember that there’s a beauty in the randomness. Everything comes together in the end.

Perfect Moment

5 out of 5 stars

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