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Film / Jeff, Who Lives at Home

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"Everyone and Everything is interconnected in the universe. Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs. Follow the signs and you will find your destiny."

Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a 2011 American indie dramedy film starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms about the most life changing day in the lives of two brothers and those close to them. Susan Sarandon and Judy Greer co-star as their mother and Helms' wife respectively.

Jeff Thompkins is a serious slacker, still living with his mother, who is constantly belittled by his older brother, Pat, for not doing anything with his life. Pat, on the other hand, has made a somewhat successful career in business; though due to his short temper and low emotional-range, is on the verge of a divorce with his wife. Their mother meanwhile, is coming to a mid-life crisis and woes over the fact that she hasn't known romance in so long, though she seems to find excitement in her office from the most unexpected of places.

The film begins as Jeff gets a call from his mother to get glue to fix a broken shutter. Jeff, who believes his life works in signs from the universe, leaves the house to get the glue, but is distracted by a similar pattern of names. On his way, he meets up with his brother who then pursuit Pat's wife together, who seems to be involved in an affair.

Due to its overall mood, the film would normally be considered a drama, but is made lighthearted sheerly by the "two comedy guys", Pat and Jeff.

Tropes related to this work:

  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time that Jason Segel belongs in a family that has a thing for redheads.
  • Actual Pacifist: Jeff refused to fight back after he was punched out by Kevin's friend. This leads him to be ridiculed by his brother:
    Jeff: I told you I don't believe in fighting.
    Pat: Oh yeah, because your a pussy.
    Jeff: Was Gandhi a pussy?
  • The Alleged Car: Pat's formerly nice Porsche, which gets run into a tree after trying to prove a point that his "signs" don't exist. He then parks illegally to spy on his wife and then tacks on a ticket from earlier to cover up the fact, and gets towed anyway.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Pat acts quite apathetic towards Jeff, but not all the way.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Pat sees Jeff as this.
  • Arc Symbol: Water.
  • Arc Words: "Kevin" and "Water".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jeff made a diving save to rescue two girls and their dad at the film's climax. When it starts looking like a Heroic Sacrifice, Pat did the same to (successfully) rescue him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jeff's "signs" seems like a load of crap from the beginning, but he turns out to save a drowning man, a father of two, in the end by chasing an overhead helicopter across a traffic jam.
    • Knew It All Along: The man's name is Kevin, which alludes to the "sign" from the beginning of the movie.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Linda's actress, Judy Greer, starred in a Mel Gibson film before.
  • The Comically Serious: Pat's funny aspect come mainly when he runs into his brother, and when he finds himself in a "business meeting" at Hooters.
  • Disappeared Dad: The two main lead's father has been dead for six years in the beginning.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Pat and Linda's marriage is failing, Jeff's life is going nowhere, and their mother has gotten fed up being stuck in the rut of office life.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Pat believes that he is the latter and Jeff is the former. Though when it comes to personal relationships, it's probably the other way around.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Pat. It's a big factor in his divorce, and also led him into crashing into a tree from his brother pestering him about his "signs".
  • Has a Type: Jeff's father and his older brother sure do like redheads.
  • Homage: Jeff lives his life according to a movie he saw; Signs by Mel Gibson.
  • Jerkass Realization: Pat gets one when Linda says she's leaving him because he is condescending and inconsiderate to everyone, including her. He then decides to fight for her and admits he wants to be in love with her again.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pat appears generally apathetic and insensitive, but he cares deeply for his family and will go to extreme lengths for them.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Sharon's secret admirer turns out to be her girlfriend from the office.
  • Protagonist Title: Overlaps and zigzags with The Place since only a quarter of the film took place at the house.
  • Race for Your Love: Pat this this for Linda at film's climatic scene.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Linda gives one to Pat when he catches her about to cheat on him, and he belittles her dream of wanting to go to another city for a vacation. She points out that he always uses big words to make her feel stupid and doesn't seem to actually listen to her. (Note that Pat said the exact same thing, with less tenderness.) Linda then says she's moving out of their house and will go live with their mother.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The short-tempered older brother, Pat, is the red while his laid-back slacker brother, Jeff, is the blue.
  • Role Called: The title basically says "The Hero, who is a Lazy Bum".
  • Sexless Marriage: Linda's to-be-lover asks how long it's been since she's has sex in her marriage. She cannot remember and he tells her "It's not just about having sex, it's about making love".
  • The Slacker: Jeff, who of course still lives at home with mother.
  • The Stoner: Jeff is a habitual pot smoker and offers a blunt to Kevin after their impromptu basketball session.