Friday, July 30, 2010

Under 250: Greenberg

I missed Greenberg in its theatrical run.  At the time, I was rather upset about this.  I kept tentatively penciling in times to go see it, but I never made it.  Busy times, you know.  I'm a big Noah Baumbach fan.  Squid and the Whale, Kicking & Screaming, the work he's written collaboratively with Wes Anderson (Life Aquatic, Mr. Fox); absolutely love it.  The droll pedant characters, the East Coast atmospherics, the sardonic humor, the soundtrack selections; it typically all works for me.  I even generally enjoyed the much derided Margot at the Wedding.  All that said: I was pretty disappointed with Greenberg.  I've been thinking, since I watched Greenberg a few weeks back, about what it was that turned me off about it, and I still can't quite figure it out.  In pieces, it seems to work.  Ben Stiller plays his toned down role as the titular misanthropic mid-life slacker pretty well.  He's vacant, difficult, absolutely churlish, and unlikeable.  Mumblecore sweetheart Greta Gerwig, too, is irritatingly self-effacing, and good at it.  There's some clever repartee and some bold moves taken in terms of how deep into Greenberg's complete lack momentum...but ultimately, the film hit a sour note for me and was less than satisfying.  Greenberg didn't feel on.  The cultural references failed to resonate and I think, maybe, that I just didn't believe the strange relationship cultivated between Stiller and Gerwig's characters.  It was as if the actors did such a good job of portraying their characters individually that, when they came together, you felt the outside puppeteering hand of the writer/director. It's a strange sensation, to look at a movie and know, just know, that that's just not quite how these people would fall into it...but there it is.  Greenberg's second half picks up a little more than its introduction, but ultimately lacks something in terms of screen presence.  The movie is all about the angst of its characters and fails, perhaps, to really build a structured narrative on which to support them.  They're floundering, but it doesn't feel profound or especially purposeful, not like the searching, desperate floundering of the college graduates in Kicking & Screaming or the Berkman family in Squid and the Whale.  Lackluster, plain and simple.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    Nice post i like it,
    Fortunately many party stores also carry "Hollywood" themed decorations. But if not, simply type in 'Hollywood Party Decorations' in your search bar and you will have more choices than imaginable.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...