Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moofies - Greenberg (2010)

EXPECTATIONS: I've enjoyed Noah Baumbach's other films about dysfunctional/normal people and families, and I also think Ben Stiller is great, so this could be great.

REALITY: Greenberg opens as a smart, funny film about some socially awkward people, but by the end of the film I was in love with every character and totally immersed and emotionally invested in the film, rather than just observing some interesting thing.

Roger Greenberg (Stiller) moves into his brother's house in L.A. while his brother and family are away. While there Roger meets Florence (Greta Gerwig), a young woman who is hired to look after the family dog and other household duties. They have a connection which begins in a totally awkward way but grows into something beautiful. When I say 'beautiful' it's not like they walk off into the sunset together or anything; you just see them go through some realistic and not over-the-top dramatic circumstances with each other and they grow closer through it all.

Roger also catches up with his best friend Ivan (Rhys Ifans) while in town. Roger struggles to identify with Ivan's new outlook on life and family and the connection they once had seems lost.

It's a simple storyline that is more about Roger's character and growth than anything else, filled with strong performances and a clear love for these characters from behind the camera. Greenberg  is Baumbach's best film to date.


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