Reviews

Greenberg

4

Stiller gets bitter…

Greenberg review

Greenberg review - Walking-rug Robin Williams, rubber-chinned Jim Carrey and man-child Adam Sandler are just a few modern funny people who’ve aced going straight. But chimp-faced Ben Stiller has mostly been happy to play the fool. Until now.

Staring out of gaunt eye-sockets and sporting big hair that (tellingly) he really should have cut by now, Stiller effortlessly nails the horrid selfishness and neurosis of Roger Greenberg, a fortysomething failed musician who’s housesitting for his successful brother after a stint in a mental hospital.

Self-involved and prickly as hell, Greenberg is “trying to do nothing for a while”. He reconnects with old friends (Rhys Ifans, excellent) he’s spent years alienating. He writes pedantic complaint letters to Starbucks, airlines, The LA Times... but doesn’t send them. He builds a doghouse. Life goes on – without him.

Like his breakout The Squid And The Whale (husband vs wife) and Margot At The Wedding (sister vs sister), writer/director Baumbach’s sixth movie deals with how “hurt people hurt people”, as quipped by Florence (indie starlet Greta Gerwig), the vague 25-year-old who’s looking after the house and the family dog. Her non-relationship with Roger starts with her meek acceptance of his abrupt lunge at her.

It continues as a series of awkward, compulsive little encounters. Wandering along a series of anti-climaxes in an empty LA, shot by Zodiac’s master DoP Harris Savides, the movie touchingly, subtly mirrors Roger and Florence: adrift in their own lives, him too closed, her too open.

Baumbach’s loose screenplay hits its prickly peak at a houseparty. As Stiller’s Gen X loser finds his lodgings taken over by twentysomething hipsters with no worries and lots of cocaine, he hisses: “I hope I die before I end up meeting any of you in a job interview.”

Self-conscious, sad, funny, awkward, small, mean... Greenberg the movie is like Greenberg the man: not much fun to hang out with but hard to forget.
 

Verdict:

Everybody hurts, all the time, as Ben Stiller aces his dramatic turn in another witty, discomforting comedy drama from Baumbach. No happy endings here, but a climactic note of hope feels hard-earned.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • AvenReeves

      Jan 20th 2011, 15:09

      4

      I didn't realize Mark Ruffalo was slated for this. I think I would have liked it a little better with him. I liked Stiller, but Ruffalo has a lazier affect about him, including his voice quality. I'm used to seeing Stiller moving around a lot and more high strung. Still a very good movie. I also really loved The Squid and the Whale.

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      Feb 2nd 2011, 20:05

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      Feb 3rd 2011, 19:39

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    • branda

      Feb 4th 2011, 11:46

      I like the uniqueness of the movie and also its concept was heart touching.I ma glad that such beautiful movies are coming for viewers to entertain them.Its really nice of them to put such efforts. online degree

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    • leon32

      Feb 6th 2011, 20:22

      Normally I like the role of Jim Carrey in most of his movies but this time in Greenberg, I found the role of Ben Stiller is much better than Jim.This movie is something different than other movies of such types because the story idea is unique & the characters have performed their role exceptionally well.That's why Greenberg has got a huge success soon after the release of it. scholarships for mothers

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      Feb 8th 2011, 0:52

      4

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      Feb 8th 2011, 1:32

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      4

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    • allenpaul123

      Feb 8th 2011, 18:19

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    • michaelroy1

      Feb 9th 2011, 23:48

      Stiller effortlessly nails the horrid selfishness and neurosis of Roger Greenberg, a fortysomething failed musician who’s housesitting for his successful brother after a stint in a mental hospital. VLC

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    • michaelroy1

      Feb 10th 2011, 0:45

      4

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      Feb 12th 2011, 12:00

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      Feb 15th 2011, 14:15

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      Feb 16th 2011, 10:13

      5

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      Feb 16th 2011, 21:38

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      Feb 23rd 2011, 21:03

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      Feb 28th 2011, 23:20

      5

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    • PeterSmith

      Mar 6th 2011, 12:44

      I have enjoyed reading this review. I don’t usually like Baumbach’s films they’re just a bit dry and boring, but Ben Stiller’s performance makes this one a surprising exception.custom writing

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    • kirstendawson73

      Mar 7th 2011, 3:14

      4

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    • non12step

      Mar 8th 2011, 15:57

      This role for Stiller is more serious than he's used to playing. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to such a change in character style. Office cleaning services

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    • irena

      Mar 8th 2011, 16:24

      I was very impressed by Ben Stiller´s performace. Thanks for posting this review. Irena from payday loans

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      Mar 9th 2011, 6:27

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      Mar 10th 2011, 6:41

      5

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      Mar 11th 2011, 8:21

      4

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      Mar 16th 2011, 22:52

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      Mar 27th 2011, 6:49

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    • Gregbarton

      Mar 31st 2011, 13:28

      5

      It's really a great movie. This is the first time I see Mark Ruffalo in such character. Greg, art director of Landscape Painting Gallery

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    • deesydia

      Apr 15th 2011, 13:25

      I have never seen this film yet, as it has not been shown on our country, or at least I think so (might have missed it). Anyway, what is this film's genre? Comedy? Or Drama? After reading the review, I think it's both (seeing that Stiller is here). Dee - http://woodworkingplansdiy.org/

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