Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
We like Florence: she's considerate, sweet, pretty, and terrific with kids and dogs. She's twenty-five, personal assistant to an L.A. family that's off on vacation. Her boss's brother comes in from New York City, fresh from a stay at an asylum, to take care of the house. He's Roger, a forty-year-old carpenter, gone from L.A. for fifteen years. He arrives, doesn't drive, and needs Florence's help, especially with the family's dog. He's also connecting with former band-mates - two men and one woman with whom he has a history. He over-analyzes, has a short fuse, and doesn't laugh at himself easily. As he navigates past and present, he's his own saboteur. And what of Florence? is Roger one more responsibility for her or something else? Written by
This film was slightly misadvertised. It is not a "funny movie," it is a pseudo-slice of life movie with an eccentric but believable character. It is a comedy in the sense that it is not a tragedy.
I enjoyed this film immensely. I found it very cathartic and realistic. It is "funny" in the sense that Ben Stiller is socially inappropriate at times, but honestly, it's not a "funny" film, and sometimes the film tries to be funny and definitely falls flat. The story is also a little slow to start. That said, it's still a good film.
Some people clearly don't "get" this film...Anyone who says "it wasn't funny!!" or "nothing happened!" is missing the point. This is one of those rare movies based entirely on character, with a very realistic plot progression. It's not the best movie of the year or anything, but it's a really good example of a character-driven story. If you don't care about or "get" Greenberg, there is nothing for you here.
I must protest the people who say the film is unbelievable. It *is* very believable, but not necessarily relatable. It portrays a man bordering on mental instability *very* well.
Ultimately, this movie is similar to Woody Allen pics in affect, although much less "funny." But it still has that "world through the eyes of a neurotic" gimmick, as well as the laissez-faire plot progression.
Ben Stiller also deserves praise for a great, "real" performance as Greenberg, and he is supported by a mixed cast (some great, some poor).
I recommend this film to anyone familiar with OCD, anxiety, or anyone over 40 who asks "what happened?"
91 of 134 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?