Over the holidays, there has been a huge amount of movie watching in the condo. We had a very last minute and unexpected change of plans over the weekend, so we used the extra time as an opportunity to completely relax and enjoy doing next to nothing. It was fantastic. We’ve had untouched Netflix DVDs for a few weeks and always collect movies on the Tivo, so this weekend and Christmas Eve became our unofficial movie marathon holiday fiesta.
We saw a few Hollywood blockbusters, including the 2012 Total Recall. It was totally entertaining and Kate Beckinsale could not be hotter or kick more ass. We started watching another movie called Safe House that was random action sequences mixed with Denzel Washington psychological drama genius mixed with Ryan Reynolds cute boy / young CIA agent ambition. Sadly, it had no plot and I lost interest halfway through. I used to stick movies out to the bitter end, no matter how bad they are, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t want to waste precious time on bad movies.
As we were lounging around, ready for the next flick, Fiancé was going through the list and mentioned something with Jason Segel and Ed Helms. I automatically said “Done”. Jason Segel is kind of a movie saint to me. I heard an interview on NPR where Segel was describing his passion for The Muppets in the context of co-writing his own rendition in 2011 and I felt smitten. He conveys a childlike enthusiasm and joy that is rare in celebrities and I really love that. It seems to come through in everything he does.
The Jason Segel movie is called Jeff, Who Lives at Home and I was expecting a chummy, funny friend flick about a slacker guy living at home and trying to navigate through life. But what I got was a movie about real people, living pretty ordinary lives, but all with a thoughtful undertone that makes your heart stop and smile. It was filled with simple, charming moments that I also found in The Royal Tenenbaums, Big Fish, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Igby Goes Down – which also coincidentally starred Susan Sarandon in the exact opposite role as Jeff, Who Lives at Home.
I don’t think I would be interested in this storyline with other actors in place, but there was something about the perfect combination of lovable characters in ordinary situations that caught me. Segel’s character was fixated on the idea of destiny and finding his own path in life. His character’s charm affected all those around him in the most subtle way. Sarandon’s character broke out of the routine of the day-to-day that we all experience. Helms’s stubborn character had a breakthrough. It all had a theme of growth and experience.
The movie was filled with little moments that stick with you. It’s a world you don’t necessarily want to live in, but you know it’s real and you know it’s out there happening somewhere. The realness of the stories lends to an even deeper level of appreciation for the film and script.
I rarely see movies that are truly memorable, but this is one of them. This is definitely a must-see movie, especially during the remaining few days of the lovely, loungey holidays.