Greener Grass (2019) Poster


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Good, weird fun
valemas23 September 2019
Greener grass was made by two women having fun. It's whimsical, colorful and surreal. The absurdity has a lot of coherence inside the film's universe, and it will keep you laughing. It reads like kids on LSD playing with barbies, and having a mid life crisis. The directors are a dynamic duo well coordinated on and off screen. However it kind of feels it would be better fitted for a series of short skits. it felt like watching a 1h45m long SNL or Portlandia sketch.

Laugh, don't overthink it (or maybe do?).
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stop and smell the plastic flowers
ferguson-67 June 2019
Greetings again from the darkness. Opening Night at the Oak Cliff Film Festival ... a time to hold your breath while preparing for a unique movie experience. Yep, it happens every year - and this year, the festival's 8th, may be the most fun yet. Our Thursday night treat for 2019 comes courtesy of co-writers, co-directors, co-producers, and co-stars Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. These two highly creative filmmakers have expanded their award-winning 2015 short film (same title) to feature length instant comedic classic ... and one surely to garner a cult following (just follow the laughter).

Ms. DeBoer stars as Jill and Ms. Luebbe is Lisa. They are best friends, neighbors, and passive-aggressive competitors in a manner only seen in today's suburban settings. Think of THE STEPFORD WIVES or Seaside in THE TRUMAN SHOW, and then toss in color-coordinated family attire, golf carts for transportation, and braces on the teeth of every adult. More warped than idyllic, the wacky level of politeness is a source of comedy, and there are some gems during many of the segments. Consistent laughter in the nearly full Texas Theatre meant concentration was required to avoid missing the next killer line.

Oh yes ... the killer. A stalker/possible serial killer is a menace that hovers in the background through most of the film. The threat is mostly teased as our locals go about unwittingly poking fun at soccer, baseball, yoga, accelerated classes, layered dips and music lessons. The self-imposed pressures of this existence are evident in both parents and kids - especially kids who watch unapproved TV shows like "Kids with Knives".

Lest you think all of the comedy is derived from the two leads, know that Beck Bennett ("Saturday Night Live") plays Jill's husband, and Neil Casey plays Lisa's significant other. Both are hilarious in contrasting styles, and Mary Holland is a hoot as the recent red-haired divorcee Kim Ann, and it's D'Arcy Carden ("The Good Place") who is the real scene stealer as Miss Human, the slightly-off second grade teacher. Julian Hilliard is immediately recognizable as young Luke from "The Haunting of Hill House", and here he plays Julian, who is likely to make your own adolescent child's transformation pale in comparison.

Is there an easier target for satire than suburbia ... other than the current political climate, of course? Where do we look for happiness? A friend's husband? The neighbor's house? Someone else's baby? While fake flowers abound and represent the dream of exterior perfection, it should be noted that I only counted 2 f-bombs in the whole movie. The humor, though quite absurd and sometimes teasing the line with horror, is basically squeaky clean - an approach that helps it stand out in an era of today's raunchy comedies trying to out-raunch each other. After playing Sundance, it's likely to join the best comedies in the love-hate category. If you enjoy slightly demented social commentary, there is a good chance you'll find humor here ... though I keep drawing a blank trying to come up with a movie comparison. Perhaps that's the best compliment that can be offered.
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A number of interesting elements, but complete lack of coherence
random-7077818 October 2019
The production values and aesthetic in the first half of this film are just great. But beyond that it is simply incoherent overall and when barely coherent it is more a smattering of tropes than anything interesting.
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Green Grass on the Otherside: An Influence from Twin Peaks
babyjaguar18 May 2019
Actors, writers and directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe collaborated with this black comedy set in suburbia where adults has peculiar habits and wear braces over their straight teeth.

During a recent Q/A session, DeBoer and Luebbe explained that the story came from their short film, "Greener Grass" and worked on a low budget. They said that films of David Lynch, John Waters and 1960s and 1970s landscape photography was an influence.

Visually the film is reminiscent of 1980s fashion aesthetics and seems like an infomercials from the 1990s. Both actors initially met in New York with the comedy team, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
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Reminiscent of Tim & Eric.
DohraBlowup11 November 2019
Obviously inspired by David Lynch, but the delivery ultimately felt very T&E. Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe together have a lot of experience under their belt, so I hope to see more (and better) in the future. I had a good few laughs.
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The "grass" is not "greener" in this neighborhood or with this film
ccorral41919 June 2019
NY's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Alum Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe stretch thier Short Film (of the same name) into a painful 1 hour and 41 minute feature film. While the Short may have been appealing (I didn't see it), more is not better here! DeBoer and Luebbe write, direct and star here, proving once again newbies usually can't wear multiple hats successfully. Trying to bring believability to a silly and farfetched comedy storyline, where cheap/not funny on-camera gags won't end, are crazy woman Helen (wasting the craft of Dot-Marie Jones "Glee") and side-kick husbands Nick (Beck Bennett "SNL") and Dennis (Neil Casey "SNL). It's downright hard to watch the cast try to make something out of nothing. DeBoer and Luebbe place thier story in an environment that is literary full of plastic plants, plastic non-emotional one level characters, and within scenes that are color saturated for reasons unknown and unnecessary, thus providing little to grab onto for substance, let alone humor. Call this satire, slapstick or purposeful raunch, I say the "grass" is not "greener" in this neighborhood or with this film.
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Think of this as absurdist and experimental, not satirical
peter-stead-740-48696328 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Like most people, I went in with no preconceptions and of course wanting to be entertained. Within the first scene, I started sensing that, despite the garishly 50s production design, stilted dialogue and vapid forced jollity of the characters, this actually wasn't a satire, as such, of suburbia, or capitalism, or whatever. Satire is usually biting and this is not. When Jill simply gives Lisa her baby as though it is a new item of clothing, it feels like a joke gone too far for its setting, rather than what I believe is an early sign that this is 'Theatre of the Absurd' territory. That's a very difficult genre to pull off in film and even theatre audiences familiar with, say, Ionesco or Genet would need to have this genre framed very clearly at the start and giving away the baby does not really do that. Later, Jill's son jumps into a swimming pool and turns into a dog, which would have been a better way of achieving this, but it comes too late in the film to frame the story and orientate the audience correctly.

So, after the opening scene, we are in uncharted territory and a story we are expecting to make some kind of sense, instead meanders through a series of set-pieces, gags etc, that actually do not really seem to be intended to be either funny or serious. They all drag the pace and have the same tone, and soon the film truly slows time.

So, as per my title, the best way to enjoy this is not as something as easily recognisable as satire. Absurdism is incredibly difficult to do without confusing the audience and the most effective use of it I have seen is when elements of it are used in a basically naturalistic setting - I'm thinking Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch and Harold Pinter in theatre. Otherwise it is wildly ambitious and you need to have a genius director on top of their game to have a chance of success. If you have an avant garde taste, this might be for you, but my 3 rating is based on what the majority of people will think, at a guess.
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Moronic but very laughable.
parkmanjohn23 October 2019
I like the offbeat comezy of this. It has noticable faces acting in this. Quirky writing but enjoyable. Some parts had me laughing so hard. It reminds me of an episode of Documentary Now or some cynically hilarious SNL skit.
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Gresh85427 October 2019
Weirdest movie of all-time. I have never been more sure of a claim in my entire life. FANTASTIC NONETHELESS!
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