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Monday, October 10, 2011

Greenberg Movie Review Ben Stiller Greta Gerwig

Greenberg is a film about a socially awkward, angry man, (Stiller) who develops an awkward relationship with his brother's family nanny, Florence (Gerwing)

The   film  does not follow the usual formulas.  The characters are not facing some insurmountable goal. There are no weddings to be had or taken. There is no damsel in distress. There are no fires to put out.  Greenberg simply wants to do nothing for a while and Florence is unable to do anything but nothing.  They don't struggle against this.  This is a film about human interaction without crisis. While the film takes place over just a couple weeks by the end you see how decades of friendship molds, or destroys, relationships.

Terrific acting.  This is a serious film.  It has humorous moments but this is no comedy. Who would have thought Stiller would be simply perfect as the once-institutiionalized, moody, angry and somewhat deranged Greenberg. He creates a lot of tension in the film simply as the man who is ready to explode but never quite reaches meltdown. He is like a firework whose fuse has burned away and the explosion has not yet released itself.

Greta Gerwig is unbelievable as well and quite a surprise in this film.  Her voice, her looks, and the way she carries herself makes Florence so real. She could be that girl you'd never think twice about in a casual meeting but get to know her and you'll be taken by her. Not necessarily in a romantic way but in a way that anyone interested in people with great depth of personality would be.  She is both genuinely kind and dutiful, yet seems to have no imminent opportunities.  She is somewhat promiscuous but not in an offensive way. She is naive but intelligent. She is endlessly kind without being sappy.

So, Did I love the film? Each scene really gripped me.  I could not stop watching this film.  As a whole though, I was somehow left unsatisfied. I'm very open minded about quirky films like Greenberg, but this one I felt just missed somewhere.

That said, I'm not suggesting you should not watch the film.  It is one of those flicks where if you enjoy art house films, you might actually love it.  If you enjoy more mega blockbuster flicks you will likely hate it.

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