Who put you in charge of gardening?!

They say that man is man and master of his fate. For Jeff, fate is man and master of him.

Living in his mother’s basement at the grand old age of about-thirty, Jeff (Jason Segel in his perfect role) is waiting for something to happen. He isn’t making his own destiny, he’s waiting for it to arrive. That’s right, Jeff believes in signs. When his mother Sharon (a wonderful Susan Sarandon) phones to ask him to run an errand, Jeff is on task until a phone call demanding for a man named Kevin leads him to search for the intended recipient of the call. It’s here that Jeff is led astray and accidentally across the path of his brother Pat (Ed Helms) who is having a dilemma of his own- his neglected wife may be cheating on him. Can Jeff help his estranged brother at the same time as solving the mystery of Kevin?

The strong lead actors are supported well by Sarandon and an excellently misunderstood Judy Greer, while Rae Dawn Chong delights as Sharon’s work colleague and kindred spirit. It’s a well-meaning indie film full of life lessons, that does the job well in its modest 83 minutes. There are plenty of laughs, some emotional sequences and a lot of prolonged close ups that is typical of this genre but captures the intimacy of the situations well. Its finale doesn’t disappoint and you’re left thinking that maybe Jeff was right about the signs after all: until he goes back to his basement, and we realise that everyone has found their path except him.

This anti-climax of the protagonist is somewhat disappointing but in light of the events of the resolution, we’re kind of happy for him to carry on doing his thing. Jeff finally finishes his errand and maybe this is the start of something- but we don’t stick around to find out. An enjoyable compact indie with a stellar cast.


by Stephanie Broad