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Greenberg (2010)

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A man from Los Angeles, who moved to New York years ago, returns to L.A. to figure out his life while he house-sits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother's assistant.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Greenberg Boy
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Greenberg Girl
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Emily Lacy ...
Gallery Band Member
Aaron Wrinkle ...
Gallery Band Member
Heather Lockie ...
Gallery Band Member
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Guy at Gallery
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Zach Chassler ...
Marlon
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Peggy
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Blair Tefkin ...
Megan - Beller's Party
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's got a lot on his mind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality, drug use, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

26 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den skeftomai, ara yparho  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$118,152 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Gross:

$4,216,789 (USA) (21 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A poster of the band Prinzhorn Dance School can be seen on the wall where Greenberg hangs the drawing made by Florence' niece. It's a reference to LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who was responsible for the soundtrack. Murphy is the boss of the DFA record label, who released the 'Prinzhorn Dance School' album. See more »

Goofs

One of the complaint letters Greenberg sends has an address on "Eigth" Avenue. See more »

Quotes

Roger Greenberg: Wish it wasn't too late to get my medical degree.
Ivan Schrank: It's not too late.
Roger Greenberg: I'd be over 50 by the time I graduated.
Ivan Schrank: What is it? Four years, right?
Roger Greenberg: Yeah, but I know myself. I'd procrastinate, take time off. Eight years at best. Who's gonna hire a 49... Let's just call it 50. A 50-year-old vet?
Ivan Schrank: I'm confused. Are you going to vet school or regular medical school?
Roger Greenberg: Neither, clearly.
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Soundtracks

It's A Wonderful Subdivision
Written by Mike Doskocil (as Doskocil), Jim Broyles (as Broyles) & Christopher Otazo (as Otazo)
Performed by Drunks With Guns
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Working hard at doing nothing
28 March 2010 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Noah Baumbach wrote and directed the excellent "The Squid and the Whale", and it is with "Greenberg" that he really makes a statement as an independent filmmaker to anticipate. The second gem is always the most elusive. That said, I am not sure I can recommend this movie to very many people, despite all the good things I am about to write.

This is the first Ben Stiller role that actually seems to fit him. His typical role is as a punchline. Here, he plays a guy who recently suffered a nervous breakdown and is now house-sitting for his rich brother, whose family is vacationing in Vietnam. Throughout the movie, Greenberg states he is concentrating on doing "nothing" right now. Of course, that is his defense mechanism for being unable to connect or communicate with any real person. Yes, that sounds bleak ... and it is. Yet, it is also fascinating and thought-provoking.

Despite Stiller's strong turn, Greta Gerwig (as Florence) proves to be the heart of the story. She is the family assistant to Greenberg's brother and finds herself oddly attracted to Greenberg's vulnerable state. This is my first exposure to Ms. Gerwig and I find her fascinating as an actress. She has a natural openness on screen and is certainly no glamour-gal. Instead she comes across as a very real 25 year old trying to make sense of life - especially her own.

In addition to Ms. Gerwig, Rhys Ifans provides outstanding support work as Greenberg's long ago band mate. This is the polar opposite of Ifan's character in "The Boat that Rocked" as here is just a guy putting together a grown up life for himself. He struggles with the adjustment, but accurately depicts how choices can make or break us.

I am not sure whether to categorize this as a character study or just an exquisitely written series of scenes that hit the nail on the head. One of the best scenes of the film is when Stiller meets up with Jennifer Jason Leigh and she immediately rebuffs his reconciliation attempts. They had been a couple briefly 15 years ago and she has obviously moved on. Excellent film-making.

The best way I can describe Greenberg the character is that he is a compilation of the dark thought that we all experience from time to time ... a desire to do nothing, wanting to be blunt and direct, dreams of recapturing the magic of youth, and of course, writing complaint letters for everything wrong in the world. Obviously, most of us spend very little real time on these things, but that is the Greenberg character. Let's keep an eye on Mr. Baumbach - he may just be the real deal.


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