The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Jeff Who Lives At Home | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Jeff Who Lives At Home

Directed by: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong

Two bickering brothers(Segel and Helms) are united in their investigation of Helms' wife's infidelity.

Obsessed with the M. Night Shyamalan movie "Signs", stoner Segel believes everything happens for a reason. When he receives a misdialed phone call from someone looking for "Kevin" he takes it as some kind of sign. While riding the bus he spots a young black guy with the name Kevin printed on his basketball jersey. Segel follows him and ends up shooting hoops with Kevin and his friends. As this scene was unfolding I couldn't help thinking how rare it was in American cinema to see a bunch of black characters have a non-threatening interaction with a white guy. It didn't take long for American cinema to let itself down, in the next scene they mug Segel.
Segel's mother, Sarandon (the highlight of the film), is receiving flirtatious messages on her office computer from someone claiming to work with her. It turns out to be her female coworker, Chong, to Sarandon's shock. Figuring she has nothing to lose, Sarandon accepts the advances, sharing a kiss under the office sprinklers during a fire drill.
Segel continues to follow seemingly random signs which eventually lead to his rescuing of a drowning family.
Let's take a look at the messages relayed here. A higher power controls our destiny. Young black men aren't to be trusted. People can become homosexual at the drop of a hat. Even Tea Party members would find this offensive. I honestly don't believe the film-makers intended this though which makes it even more disturbing. How can so many people be ignorant enough to let something this insensitive be released? What on earth is Sarandon, one half of the most notoriously liberal couple in Hollywood, doing putting her name to a project so conservative in it's mindset it makes Sarah Palin look like Jane Fonda. The Duplass brothers probably thought they were being "edgy" by having a character suddenly "turn gay". Only an idiot or a religious nut (the two generally go hand in hand) believes that people can "turn gay". Homosexuality isn't some sort of flight of fancy you can randomly choose when it suits you, it's a condition humans are born with. It's because of this mistaken belief that gays are still treated as second class citizens in most of the world. 
It's not a particularly bad film, it features some quality performances, but like it's title character it  seems to have been made by two straight white guys with no experience of the world beyond their basement.