Monday, February 14, 2011

FTT Movie Review: Greenberg

Yes, there are going to be more of these than usual. It's February, and I don't have my roto baseball rankings down yet, and if I write about 100% NBA, some of you will go into apoplectic shock. I'm also too short-stacked to engage in too much poker these days, and there's been a sad lull in the number of guys in sports auto-aborting their careers. So take some cinema, will you?

Ben Stiller stars as the title character, Roger Greenberg, a 40-plus year-old slacker, failed musician, prickly person and borderline personality who, after a stint in a mental hospital, flies from New York to Los Angeles to stay at his wealthy brother's place to house-sit during a long family vacation. While there, he begins a relationship with Florence, the family's personal assistant, played by breakout actress Greta Gerwig. It's a low budget art movie, and kind of aimless and difficult... but it's still kind of nice to see Stiller in something tht doesn't make you want to hit him with a hammer, or make you wonder just how much money is enough to make him actually, well, care about the movie that he's in. And Gerwig is really good, and will clearly have some kind of career after this, especially if she continues to do frontal for Art. (Yay, art!)

Direction is pretty rudimentary, and the cast is good but understated; much of the humor is a little too sharp and self-induldent ("Youth is wasted on the young," to which Greenberg replies, "I'd go further... Life is wasted on... people." Laff riot, amirite?). I never really got lost in the story; it wasn't hard to stop this thing twice to deal with my laundry. But there's still sparkling moments of conversation, and a real sense that anything could happen given the anything goes nature of the plot, to keep you moving along. I've certainly seen worse indie films, and don't regret seeing it at all... but you don't really have to. (And especially not on Blu-Ray, which is how this thing came to my door.)

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule