This week is all about characters that we feel epitomize The Fool, a naive, inexperienced protagonist determined to find some meaning or purpose in life by embarking on a quest. I’m certain my boy Jeff (Jason Segel) definitely fits the bill on this one. He’s a 30-year-old slacker, lives in his mother’s basement, and is obsessed with the notion that a sign from above will eventually lead him to understand how to move forward with his life. Jeff receives a call from a wrong number, and so his journey begins.
At the outset, Jeff is simply leaving the house at the behest of his mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon), to run a simple errand instead of spending all day smoking pot in the basement. After a few missteps, Jeff has a run-in with his older brother Pat (Ed Helms) who is in the middle of a marital crisis. Pat enlists his brother’s aid in spying on his wife’s actions throughout the day. While the brothers engage in the mending of broken relationships, Sharon’s attempts to discover the identity of a secret admirer at work provide her an escape from the loneliness and disappointment she’s found herself mired in. The various threads eventually come together for an ending that proves to be pleasant, if not also a bit too convenient.
Overall, I’d say the movie hits all the right notes. It straddles the comedy/drama line pretty adeptly without veering too far into either territory. While the outcome of Jeff’s day may seem a stretch, it should leave a smile on your face and, I think, cements him as the perfect example of The Fool.