User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 61
  2. Negative: 4 out of 61

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  1. Apr 20, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Outside the Hooters, Jeff refers to his old religion, defends it even, when Pat, the elder brother, makes fun of its chief prophet, Yoda, by arguing that the Jedi "would be killer in a business meeting." Now, he's a prophet himself, offering up his own commandment, adapted from a precursive faith(just like how Indian religions influenced Christianity), at the outset of Jeff Who Lives at Home, where his words to live by are superimposed over the black screen. According to the couch potato oracle: "Everyone and everything is interconnected in the universe. Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs." For Jeff, it's the M. Night Shyamalan film, and not Star Wars(see Patton Oswalt in Failure to Launch) that he **** beyond all reason, thereby transforming the filmic text into a quasi-religious object, more powerful than the Holy Bible. Stoned and disaffected, Jeff elaborates on the spirituality which flows through Signs, and its argument for predestination, making the audience cognizant of the fact that for all intents and purposes, our hero lives "in a galaxy far, far away," a galaxy where Graham Hess, a Pennsylvania farmer, becomes his own personal Luke Skywalker. Jeff doesn't "use the Force" anymore, instead, he tries to "see". His proclamations, however, are hard to take seriously, unless you believe that all the great philosophers do their best thinking just before they flush. Ironically, because Jeff starts his morning off mired in a marijuana haze, he misses the first sign, when Sharon calls her adult son to remind him about purchasing some wood glue for a minor home repair. In essence, Jeff Who Lives at Home is a stoner retelling of Signs. It's not God, but Shyamalan, who is in the details, starting with that open space where the closet door slat should be. The slats resemble the wooden boards in miniature, which the Hess family uses to seal themselves off from the doorknob-challenged aliens. Like the closet, the window that Graham reconfigures into a component of his impromptu fortress, is also missing a piece of wood, initially anyway, before the ex-Episcopalian minister nails the final board into place, without realizing how his remedial carpentry is part of a master plan. The pot induces in Jeff a selective cognizance. He catches the second sign, a wrong number, a man on the other end of the line who asks for Kevin, which Jeff translates from the sacred composition and dialogue of the Shyamalanian diegesis into a real world miracle. Whereas Graham broached the idea of there being no coincidences, Jeff appropriates this posited precondition of a world affected by metaphysics with the suggestion that there "are no wrong phone numbers." This epiphany directs the true believer to pen and paper, an endeavor that leads to another sign, when he discovers in the name Kevin, a notable, albeit imperfect, anagram: "knive". An "s"(for signs?) completes the emerging plural, and makes a sort of intertextual sense, since both the titular character from Cyrus(another mama's boy rendered by the same filmmakers) and Graham handle knives in an ambiguous manner. The supposed weapon is employed as a utensil for slicing bread in Cyrus' hands, while Graham uses his knife as a mirror, when he tries to glimpse the creature on the other side of the pantry door. The anagram's significance probably becomes self-evident to Jeff as he explains to Pat the logistical problems of knocking down a door(in this case, a motel room door) from such a short distance. On the other hand, Graham had the benefit of a running start, the whole expanse of his wife's killer's kitchen, but chooses instead to ply the knife as a benevolent instrument, before using it with malicious intent only as a last resort. Arguably, had the brothers not reunited, had invisible forces not been in the works, Pat, the cuckolded husband, could have inflicted bodily harm on the alien presence who desires Linda, but a "Kevin's Kandies" truck inevitably delivers Jeff to the rendezvous point, deftly avoiding an adjustment to the timeline. Still, the cinephilic zealot is filled with doubt. Did Jeff get beaten up by black youths in vain? But then, finally, on a bridge, the reason behind his father's death manifests itself, when Jeff steps out of the taxi to survey the traffic jam, and intuits the situation at hand. He puts his celluloidal faith in Bo's hands; Bo, the little girl who had the dream. "See," the dying words of a preacher's wife, gets reinterpreted as "sea", as does "swing away," which for Jeff means that he has to "swim away," therefore giving him the impetus to jump into the ocean below, saving the definitive Kevin and his two young daughters. In the process, Jeff becomes a Christ figure, because the Coast Guard paramedics resuscitate the prophet, or in other words, brings him back from the dead. Jeff Who Lives at Home proves that film is a religion, and not just in the metaphorical sense. Expand
  2. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    An absolutely precious film about how each of us, individually, make our way through our lives, especially after realizing, as adults, just how finite our time is. Dealing with fears, loss, expectations, love, etc is at the root of every character in this film, each going through their own perspective. This film is perfectly cast with the best performances I've seen out of these actors in a long time. It is, perhaps, Jason Segel's best acting ever. Though short, easily predictable and full of strange camera shots, nothing takes away the pure sweetness of the story. Expand
  3. Mar 31, 2012
    10
    Jeff is a sweet, thoughtful movie about people grappling with the mean of life -- of their lives specifically. The topic is heavy but the movie is light, and it's quite easy to enjoy watching really good actors (like Susan Sarandon) work their craft of being ordinary people. It's sweet, but it won't make you gag. And I have a strong gag reflex. Enjoy!
  4. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    A very nice movie with a nice ensemble of actors. In a very fast techno fused age, it was nice to see someone step back and craft a movie that puts a character like Jeff, into the mix in this funny flick that has heart. I felt the picture had a little bit of something for everyone. Ed Helms reins himself in a bit to play a character that plays well opposite Jason Segel. Susan Sarandon does a great job as well playing the mother of the two polar opposite sons. I enjoyed it very much. A first rate work. Expand
  5. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    Really enjoyed the idea behind this film. Everything happens for a reason is a cool premise if used right and in this film they do. Jason Siegel plays Jeff perfectly as a guy who doesn't believe in luck.
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 12, 2012
    60
    The film is watchable and often funny, but still seems encumbered with a kind of Sundance-indie self-consciousness, and I wondered if, in the end, it was doing anything more than the far more unassuming and gag-packed Harold & Kumar movies.
  2. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    May 12, 2012
    60
    Cool cast, hip directors, but a movie that's less than the sum of both. Like its title character, Jeff is gentle, warm but a little forgettable.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    May 7, 2012
    60
    There's undoubtedly comedy mileage in an irreverent sending up of the Signs/Magnolia school of everything-is-connected philosophy. Despite the calibre of the cast, the Duplass brothers mostly fail to find it.