I have a fascination with that whole fate/destiny thing, and it will always fascinate me. It has made it’s way into a few of my previous projects and it will no doubt show up in Cosmic Rage as well, but that’s a story for another day. So with my fascination with this fate/destiny element I tend to watch movies that tackle the subject and see how they perceive it. I recall looking at trailers on my trailers app on my phone and running across the trailer for Jeff Who Lives at Home. I’m a fan of both Jason Segal and Ed Helms, so I put the film on my watch list since it didn’t make it to many theaters.
Synopsis- Jeff (Segal) lives in his mothers basement, is unemployed and smokes weed. He also believes in the rationale of everything happens for a reason. The film starts with Jeff receiving a phone call asking for Kevin, no one lives there with that name so its a wrong number. But not to Jeff. Jeff goes to a hardware store for some glue to fix one of his mom’s shudders after a stressful phone call between them.
On the way to the store, Jeff sees a man with the name Kevin on the back of his basketball jersey. Believing in things happening for a reason, Jeff follows Kevin instead of going to the hardware store. This triggers a dayful of events that are strung together by chance or fate (depending on your view).
Along his day, Jeff runs into his brother Pat (Helms) and again, through chance or fate, they discover that Pat’s wife may be having an affair. Is this all that Jeff’s life was for, helping discover an affair?
Review- As much as I am interested in the fate/destiny element, there are very few films that I believe show that element in a new light or don’t have a cliche ending. Jeff Who Lives at Home, does not fall into that category. The film has a nice blend of comedy and the fate/destiny doesn’t come off as over the top or too far fetched.
Through the characters journeys they all evolve and we can see the depth of the family including Jeff and Pat’s mom and Pat’s wife and the evolution of the characters occurs in a short (about 85 minutes) length film, which is well paced. One area the film could have expanded on was a little more of the history of the family or the mom character, but it’s not necessary. I think leaving some of the family history out actually makes the ending more satisfying, but it depends on how much explanation you like in your films on matters like that.
The comedy in the film is well timed and the interactions between Jeff and Pat come off as typical sibling rivalry, which helps with the films almost voyeur aspects at times, coupled with the cinematography. There are several moments in the film that feel very real life, from the above mentioned sibling rivalry to the cube job of the mother.
Production Quality- The cinematography of the film was great, even if i felt the sudden push ins were a little overused in an 85 minute film. Otherise there wasn’t any special effects, animation and such in this film. Several great shots from unique perspectives, usch as the sprinkler scene in the cubicles. The handheld camera added to dramatic scenes in the film as well, that you will have to watch to find out what I mean.
Extras- None, I watched it on netflix