Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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
James Murphy: During the party scene to which Ivan drags Greenberg, for a brief few seconds, score composer James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem walks across the screen staring at his phone. See more »
In the party/coke scene two hipsters take off Duran Duran and put on the Drunks With Guns song "Wonderful Subdivision" - and though the contract said the film would use "up to 40 seconds of the song" in the final edit only the first 4 measures of the drum intro are used, making it one of film's most expensive ($6000) "throw away" song edits. The DWG were probably St Louis' most infamous 1980's post punk band, lead by known felon & admitted misanthrope Mike Doskocil. See more »
Noah Baumbach recent efforts Margot At The Wedding and the Squid And The Whale, were both fine films, so I was interested in seeing his latest Greenberg. Ben Stiller stars in this as a man struggling with his life, who meets a woman and begins a romance with her. Greenberg is a very unlikable person at times, although he often reminds one of some neurotic Woody Allen creation and has at times a certain charm. Stiller is very toned down in this and a such does a good job. Stealing his limelight is Greta Gerwig as Florence who gives a fine performance here. Florence is a little odd in her ways and so there is perhaps a connection between the two, but if this is meant to be a character study, it fails to be anything but a study in dullness. So very little happens, that it's difficult to maintain interest and with a unlikable main character, the film plods along, to the point where I longed for the credits to start.
It's a shame the film falls flat, especially when you consider previous efforts from Baumbach. Whilst there are some things going for it, mostly in performances, including a good supporting role from Rhys Ifans, there is very little going for it, especially when it runs at nearly 2hrs, it's a tough film experience.
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