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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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den skeftomai, ara yparho See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,152, 21 March 2010

Gross USA:

$4,234,170

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,153,967
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

The first soundtrack by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Florence Marr: You like me so much more than you think you do.
See more »

Connections

References Wall Street (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

People
Written by James Murphy and Al Doyle
Produced by James Murphy
Performed by James Murphy and Al Doyle
Courtesy of DFA Records/EMI Records Ltd.
James Murphy appears courtesy of DFA Records/EMI Records Ltd.
Al Doyle appears courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Well acted but ultimately just too folded up in itself for my liking
12 May 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I remember hearing good things about this film quite some time ago – mainly about relating to Stiller being in it and not playing to his usual character but doing something more "worthy", things like that. I'm never quite sure how to take praise like that, because it seems to be more to do with lauding intension rather than output, so I didn't watch this film until very recently. The opening few scenes let you in on this being an indie film, by which I mean specifically the type that will appeal to hipsters and annoy those that dislike hipsters.

I don't simply dislike films with this target audience, I really liked Noah & The Whale for example, but I do have a problem when this type of film really just goes to town on itself. I felt that was the case here and now I understand why Stiller's involvement was the main bit of praise I heard – because it really is the main thing to say about it. The story goes along slowly without any real direction other than the rambling life of Roger and his mood swings, overthinking and inherent selfishness but in fairness it is not a film to be watched for start/middle/end in the narrative. Instead it has a quite natural flow to it that I found reasonably engaging so it kept me listening, kept me interested but other than the tone I'm really not sure why. The main characters are really very self-involved and caught up in their own importance – and not in a way that they go from there but rather in a way where this is who they are throughout the film. They are well written and well delivered as characters but the film becomes like them and I was generally put off by how the whole thing started to seem smug and inward looking whereas what I really wanted was someone to come along and just shake them till they got a hold of themselves.

As annoying as I found his character, Stiller is actually very good; he totally gets his character and he plays it consistently and without any suggestion of ego of being the major Hollywood player that he is. He works well with mumblecore favourite Gerwig, who is doing her usual performance and just about manages it because she is likable whereas Stiller's character is less so. The supporting cast features small turns from Ifans, Leigh and a few others, all of whom give similar folded-in performances and match the tone of the film without making much of their time. The look of Baumbach's film is good but as writer/director he just seems happy to sit and watch his characters as they consider their own belly-buttons and on this occasion it just didn't do enough to work – he got a good performance from Stiller for sure, but beyond that? Little.

Greenberg is what you have heard – a vehicle for a comedian to prove they have value/talent by doing "proper" acting in a small indie film; I can see why Stiller did it and he does give a strong performance throughout. A shame then that there was so little else to talk about. The characters are hard to like and the film lets them just spin around each other in a way that is reasonably interesting but ultimately goes nowhere and does nothing, the end result being this feeling of inward looking smugness that one can get away with, but only in a film stronger than this one.


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