Jeff, Who Lives at Home — 4/10

JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME (2012, Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass): 4/10

Not much to say about this trite time-filler, a big step back for the Duplass brothers. Where CYRUS was observant, unique, and entertaining, this movie is lazy, formulaic, and false (“Oh I get it! The glue is a metaphor! How profound!”). Jason Segel gives his least believable slacker performance yet, forced to be way too sincere (and he’s so much better when he’s either smugly confident or blissfully optimistic, as in I LOVE YOU, MAN and THE MUPPETS). Then there’s Susan Sarandon, stranded in a half-formed role with a terrible subplot involving Rae Dawn Chong (whose pleading romantic Carol character had me yearning for her terrible line-readings in the awesome COMMANDO), and finally Ed Helms — whom I just don’t like and probably never will. He’s not funny when he’s being goofy, and not appealing when he’s being dramatic. His range is limited, he’s hard to like or root for, and it always seems like he’s acting. Pretty deadly combination of qualities.

Dare we discuss the ludicrous third act Dramatic Moment that ties everything up neatly? Uh… no. Maybe we can discuss Judy Greer, who emerges unscathed with another fine turn, but her character’s confusion and undefined motivations are indicative of a film that’s equally adrift in something I just don’t give a shit about.

 

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