Jeff, Who Lives At Home, now available on Blu-ray, is one of the latest entries in the long line of disenfranchised 30- and 40-somethings who are slacking their way through life. I'm not saying there haven't always been slacker movies, but in the last several years there has been a rash of movies featuring characters who are moving towards middle age, yet haven't quite found their way in life. Some are megahit comedies like Bridesmaids or The Hangover, and some have a more serious take, such as the little-seen Greenberg (2010). I'm not sure what this says about Gen-X, except that more than a few of us didn't get to where we thought we would be by the time we hit our 30s.
In this film, Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in his widowed mom's (Susan Sarandon) basement, getting high and not working. His older brother Pat (Ed Helms) is superficially more successful. Pat is married and has a job, but is just as dissatisfied with life as his slacker brother. Jeff, Who Lives at Home may be one of many movies examining the plight of the down-and-outers of Generation X, but it is an enjoyable story with engaging performances from Segel and Helms.
Jeff can't seem to figure out what he is supposed to be doing with his life. He's convinced he is destined for something, and he waits for some kind of sign to point him in the right direction. Jeff has developed his philosophy on life using the movie Signs. He’s obsessed with the idea, presented in the 2002 M. Night Shyamalan hit, that everything means something and is somehow connected. One morning Jeff receives a wrong number call from someone asking for “Kevin.” Jeff doesn't know any Kevin, but he's convinced the phone call holds a higher meaning, leading him to ponder, “What if there are no wrong numbers?” He heads out on an errand for him mom, looking for clues as to what “Kevin” means to his life.