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I thought this would be a light comedy about a slacker who spends his days in his mother’s basement, waiting for fate to turn around and carry him away, all the while being reasonably happy with his own lack of ambition and success. I have to admit I found myself surprised about the profundity of the film, instead. While a light tone and ridicule is all around, these guys are dealing with existential issues. The relationship between Jeff and his brother, two losers of which only one admits he is one; the relationship between the brother and his wife, a terrible mismatch of personality, attitude and social competence; the relationship between Jeff’s mother and her age… involving a desperate hunt for appreciation, a longing for love that is painful to watch.

In a directorial sleigh of hands, all these people (and more) are brought together in a finale that allows everybody to be a hero, for once. Strangely, I found that profoundly satisfying.

I am not perfectly sure whether the balance between comedy and drama is always balanced well, at the end of the day, my memory of the film leans toward the drama, the family dystopia and the certain level of mid-life despair that is on display. Maybe that is the way it was intended? Then the film’s marketing got the better of me, selling it as a light-hearted comedy. But never mind, they made me watch it, and I definitely do not regret that!

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/jeff_who_lives_at_home/

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One Comment

  1. Good review. This was a nice movie that’s not great, but it’s certainly watchable.


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