2011 Running time: 80 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Thirty-something dopehead Jeff (Jason Segel) lives in the basement beneath his widowed mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon), aimlessly whiling away the days watching M. Night Shyamalan's Signs. However, he is nudged into life, playing a private detective, when his rich elder brother Pat (Ed Helms) becomes convinced his wife Linda (Judy Greer) is having an affair. A funny and touching comedy from Jay and Mark Duplass, who made the excellent Cyrus.

Directors

  • Jay Duplass

  • Mark Duplass

Cast

  • Jason Segel

  • Ed Helms

  • Susan Sarandon

  • Judy Greer

Review

Writer-director brothers Jay and Mark Duplass are among the rarefied group of mumblecore film-makers who have managed to escape their DIY roots...largely with the help of professional actors.

Cyrus saw them step into the mainstream spotlight with Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and John C Reilly wryly lending weight to a terrific script and a knockout premise.

This time out Judd Apatow protégé Jason Segel takes centre stage as Jeff, a stay-at-home stoner 30-something doted on by his disappointed mum (Sarandon, superb) and despised by his outwardly successful Porsche-owning older brother Pat (Helms).

However, the good-natured Jeff - who it seems most is happy spending his time smoking weed in the basement - turns out to be a rather decent fellow while his spivvy sibling demonstrates that aspiration doesn't necessarily mean happiness, least of all for his long-suffering wife (Greer).

That the reversal of assumed roles takes place over the course of a few hours is a testament to the writing skills of the Duplass brothers, who imbue proceedings with a warmth and generosity of spirit.

Dyed-in-the-wool mumblecore fans will accuse the brothers of selling out...but for the rest of us it's sweet and - ultimately - rather moving.

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