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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.

Director:

Noah Baumbach

Writers:

Jennifer Jason Leigh (story), Noah Baumbach (story) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Gerwig ... Florence Marr
Koby Rouviere ... Greenberg Boy
Sydney Rouviere ... Greenberg Girl
Chris Messina ... Phillip Greenberg
Susan Traylor ... Carol Greenberg
Merritt Wever ... Gina
Emily Lacy Emily Lacy ... Gallery Band Member
Aaron Wrinkle Aaron Wrinkle ... Gallery Band Member
Heather Lockie Heather Lockie ... Gallery Band Member
Chris Coy ... Guy at Gallery
Ben Stiller ... Roger Greenberg
Zach Chassler Zach Chassler ... Marlon
Mina Badie ... Peggy
Rhys Ifans ... Ivan Schrank
Blair Tefkin 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den skeftomai, ara yparho See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,152, 21 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,216,789, 23 May 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the early drafts of the screenplay, Greenberg was written as a man in his early 30s. Inspired by the idea of casting Ben Stiller, Noah Baumbach & Jennifer Jason Leigh rewrote the entire script and made Greenberg to be 40 years old, turning 41. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Roger Greenberg: Can I get another scotch?
Ivan Schrank: That's the busboy.
Roger Greenberg: Then can I get another fork? This one has food on it.
See more »

Connections

References Wall Street (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Strange
Written by Damon Krukowski, Dean Wareham (as Michael Dean Wareham) and Naomi Yang
Performed by Galaxie 500
Courtesy of Galaxie 500 and 20/20/20 Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Noah Baumbach and a (serious) Ben Stiller combine forces on this character piece.
10 August 2010 | by lewiskendellSee all my reviews

"A shrink said to me once that I have trouble living in the present, so I linger on the past because I felt like I never really lived it in the first place, you know?"

Greenberg is a drama about...Greenberg. Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), to be specific. A 40 year-old New Yorker who returns to Los Angeles to stay at his successful brother's home while he and his family are away on a trip. He's not dealing with his life not going the way he planned as well as most of the other people he knows, and he's perpetually stuck in the past. The music he listens to is old, he talks to people about events that happened 15 years ago that they don't even remember, and he's just generally an unhappy guy. His main activity is writing letters of complaint to various companies.  

To say that Roger is flawed is an understatement. He just got out of a mental hospital recently, he's self-centered, and he tends to freak out about insignificant things as a way to protect himself from people and the world. Yet, I still liked him. As does Florence, (Greta Getwig) his brother's personal assistant who isn't exactly a model of happiness and mental health, herself, and Ivan (Rhys Ifans), Roger's long-suffering old friend and band mate, who is having family troubles of his own. 

If I had to compare this to another movie, it would be Rachel Getting Married. Not because of any plot similarities, but because of a similar tone and some shared themes. Specifically, being adrift in adult life and how issues and regretted decisions from youth can linger and fester. Also similar to Rachel Getting Married, there's never a breakthrough moment where the flawed characters are suddenly okay, and all the problems disappear.  If you expect grand resolutions from your movies, please avoid Greenberg. All we get is a sliver of light at the end that makes us think that something positive may be happening in some of these characters' lives. We're left to imagine and hope that Roger, Florence, and Ivan are on the road to getting (or finding out) what they need from life.  

So yeah, I liked it. It's a good "indie" drama, and quite different from Stiller's usual thing. Stiller and Gerwig were both great, the characters were well-written, and I've always been interested in these kinds of stories about adults flailing away blindly in this tricky thing we call life. If you're a fan of movies like Margot at the Wedding, The Squid and the Whale (both movies share Greenberg's director), and Rachel Getting Married, I'd suggest that you give this a try.


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