Beneath Apparent Routine: Mark & Jay Duplass’ “Jeff Who Lives at Home”

Written by Paige Skelly

In feature film, “Jeff Who Lives at Home” (2011), directors/writers, Mark and Jay Duplass depict Jeff (Jason Segel) as a 30-something bachelor who lives in his parents’ basement. Jeff is compelled to unravel a mystery after having a brief, but strange conversation with an unknown caller, concluding that it was a sign sent directly from the universe. Along his travels we meet Jeff’s brother, Pat (Ed Helms), and see how Jeff’s apparent absurdity with digging into coincidences actually comes to a head as a family secret is revealed and a potentially life threatening situation takes place. Though the plot-line may not sound extravagant, the film itself speaks volumes. This comedic drama will leave you with a sense of curiosity concerning the bigger picture—looking at life with a broader perspective. You are given the opportunity as a viewer to contemplate priorities, and delve beyond the surface of routine. As we see in “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” not all is as it seems—everything is connected in one way or another. It’s a film for everyone, really.

*Also starring Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) as Sharon and Judy Greer (Jawbreaker) as Linda.