Jay and Mark Duplass may be growing beyond the M-word cinematic subculture they continue to be lumped in with, but they haven’t left the exploration of raw human emotion behind. 2010’s “Cyrus” with Jonah Hill saw them marrying their quirkier sensibilities with a more broadly appearing movie, but one that didn’t hold back on the truth of its characters, in a story that moved and twisted in interesting directions. And the same is promised with “Jeff Who Lives At Home,” on the surface a buddy comedy with Jason Segel and Ed Helms, but as the trailer suggests, one that will dig a little deeper.
Co-starring Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon, the story centers on two brothers— one who is going through a mid-life crisis (Helms) and believes his wife (Greer) is having an affair, and the other a lovable loser pothead (Segel) still living with his mom (Sarandon) — as they set out to spy on the wife, a journey unfolds with all sorts of unintended consequences. Yes, the push and pull between the life you thought you were going to have and the one you wound up with is a familiar trope, but here it feels funny, with an honest charge of emotion running through.
We caught up with it at TIFF last fall, and called it one of the best efforts yet from the directing duo, saying, “Human and heartfelt filmmaking is rare at any level of the industry, and even rarer in comedy — but the Duplass brothers manage to get laughs without resorting to cheap tricks or broad flailing.” So mark you calendar and track this down when it opens on March 16th.