‘Jeff Who Lives at Home’ nails every indie dramedy trailer cliche (with side-by-sides)

The poster hit the other day, and now there’s a full trailer for Jeff Who Lives at Home, a Duplass Brothers comedy (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair) starring Ed Helms and Jason Segel, the two most likable dudes around outside of Paul Rudd and Sam Rockwell. Segel plays the titular Jeff, who lives at home in his mom’s basement like a blogger stereotype (I’ll admit, my hair does look almost exactly like that), and Helms plays his brother, whose wife (Judy Greer) is cheating on him (hence all hedge-hiding).

It’s not the most original premise, but the Duplass Brothers have always been less about original premise and more about a natural vibe between the characters (I assume they rehearse the hell out of this and a lot of the dialog is improvised) and finding humor in the minutiae of inter-character interactions. I liked Cyrus a lot, but I also kind of wish they weren’t always jamming the camera up their characters’ nostrils. I think it’d be just as funny without the Tourette’s-y camera work and seemingly purposeless quick zooms.

Also, they sort of hit every shot in the indie-dramedy trailer checklist.

  • Acoustic guitar soundtrack
  • A cheating wife, a comedic stakeout.
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Someone dies
  • Protagonist running
  • Emotional moment in water
  • Comedic car crash towards the end
  • Hitting rock bottom, then relaxing somewhere unconventional
  • Finish with a family hug

I’m not saying it won’t be good, because I like most of these movies, but let’s try to hide the formula a little better, huh? Otherwise, you might as well just call the studio “Fox Vantage Sony Searchlight Paramount Pictures Classic.”

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