The Duplass brothers (The Do-Deca-Pentathalon, Cyrus) wrote and directed this film staring Jason Segal as Jeff, a 30-something stoner living in his mom Sharon’s (Susan Sarandon) basement. Since losing his father while a teenager Jeff’s life has gotten off track. After watching Signs, he begins to wonder what the meaning of life is. After receiving a mysterious wrong number call looking for a Kevin, he decides it’s time to go out and find his purpose. While wandering through town looking for this unknown “Kevin,” he finds his brother Pat (Ed Helms), a successful salesman who drifted away from Jeff in the years since their father’s passing. When they spot Pat’s wife, Linda (Judy Greer), with another man, the two brothers begin following her, and that’s where the film’s magic begins.
Jeff and Pat’s journey isn’t the films only; Jeff’s personal quest to find meaning in life sparks the whole story. At the very beginning of the film we see the quote, “Stay pure of heart and you’ll see the signs,” and throughout the film we see Jeff acting on this. He proceeds through life like a child just waiting to find a sign and chase it to its destination, hoping that when he gets there he’ll find the next clue. We also get a look into Pat and Linda’s failing. While it drives the story, it also reveals a lot about how Pat’s life has turned out. He seems to have it all together compared to Jeff, but he’s really just as damaged. In Pat we see another child, but one who is selfish and closed off to his emotions. Lastly, it’s Sharon’s birthday, and in addition to being fed up with Jeff’s lack of direction, she’s dealing with aging and realizing that she never chased her dreams. On the bright side, she has a secret admirer at work who she hopes will, if nothing else, distract her from her problems for a little while.
I absolutely adore this movie. I think it’s funny, heartfelt and most importantly real. The Duplass brothers wrote an incredible screenplay. On top of that, I really love the style of this movie; it’s got a great indie vibe to it. While there aren’t any really big, sweeping shots, they are able to frame the everyday, run down, suburban setting they’re filming in to make a place we are familiar with feel fresh and interesting. This is one of the few movies that makes me cry every time I watch it, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.