This tale is about a marijuana-addled slacker and his mainstream, hard-working brother. They discover they have much more in common than they think they do, over the course of a difficult few days for them both.
Jeff lives in his mother’s basement. His father is dead and, although he is 30-years-old, he is a little lost. He looks for signs of what to do and fails to find clear meaning in life.
His brother Pat has a job, wife and an apartment of his own. He is the more responsible brother, when we meet them.
But this loveable indie film digs beneath the surface and finds a lot of pure joy. Hey, we all know a Jeff and a Pat.
The strength of this is in the gusto given by all the actors. Susan Sarandon shines as the mother. Judy Greer – forever underrated – is just brilliant as Pat’s wife.
But this film belongs to Jason Segel as Jeff and Ed Helms as Pat. I am not from a close family so I can only imagine what it might be like to be this close to a sibling. It must feel great and awkward, in equal measures.
There is a poignancy in the whole family becoming unsettled in the five years since dad died. I can relate to that.
Jay and Mark Duplass direct and write and they do both, rather gorgeously.
Rae Dawn Chong has magnificent moments in this ensemble piece. Yes, there is irony in realising who her dad is and what Cheech and Chong meant to the world of slackers. And there is equal irony in remembering her past career.
All in all, it’s rich and satisfying.
Do please see it at the Notting Hill Gate Cinema if you can as that will get you in the spirit of being within this. Heck, that will get you into any film.
Anything with Susan Sarandon and Judy Greer will get me into a happy place. “Jeff” has some wonderful and magical moments and you would best enjoy this at even more, at The Gate. Go there, please.
A joyful film that celebrates being human deserves beautiful surroundings.