At first, Jeff, Who Lives at Home seems like it might be the most conventional and goofy film yet from writer-director brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair). Jason Segel stars as the title character, an immature stoner who lives in his mother’s basement and spends his time pondering the mysteries of life. A simple errand for his mother (Susan Sarandon) turns into a weird, strangely affecting odyssey when Jeff encounters his overbearing older brother Pat (Ed Helms) and the two team up to follow Pat’s wife (Judy Greer) as she sneaks around with another man.
There’s a lot of silly (but amusing) stoner humor in the movie’s first third, but Jeff’s insistence on the interconnectedness of the universe gradually infuses the entire story, until it becomes a sweet meditation on fate and second chances. The Duplasses craft a crowd-pleasing comedy while keeping their unique sensibilities intact.