Netflix is typically right when it comes to recommending titles that I may possibly enjoy. With a suggested rating of 4.1 stars, I decided to give Jeff, Who Lives at Home a watch. About mid-way through my viewing, I had a strong feeling that this recommendation was wrong. I tried to keep an open mind while watching the film, but I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters.
Unlike the name of the film implies, there is actually very little screen time showing Jeff living at home. At the start of the movie, Jeff is seen in his bathroom, rambling into an audio recorder about his most recent viewing of Signs. He appears to be obsessed with Signs and makes references to it multiple times throughout the film. Immediately, something feels odd about Jeff and it just gets worse as he gets a phone call from his mother who threatens to kick Jeff out if he does not buy the wood glue she asked for. It seems weird that Jeff’s mother would be upset about something as trivial as wood glue. Clearly, she is unhappy with Jeff still living with her, which just made me wonder why she even let it go on for this long in the first place.
The movie just gets stranger from there. His quest for wood glue keeps being put on hold as Jeff becomes distracted with people named Kevin. Eventually, he runs into his brother Pat, played by Ed Helms, and a second plot is created. Pat is concerned that his relationship is falling apart and uses Jeff to help spy on his wife. Nothing is special about this and it is not remotely funny. Another unfunny storyline is created with Jeff’s mother, Sharon, and her secret admirer at work. Sharon talks to her secret admirer using AIM. By this point, the film had lost all credibility to me. The movie tries to unite all of these stories with one of the most forced endings I have witnessed.
Maybe the ending was supposed to be some sort of joke. I guess the comedy just went right over my head. The movie failed to make me laugh. The idea the Jeff, Who Lives at Home is trying to impose, that everything it connected, is made all too clear. The characters were unlikable which in turn made the plot uninteresting. Jeff, who lives at home, should have stayed at home.