Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Greenberg (2010)

I'm not quite sure how I let this one get past me. I remember being somewhat excited when I first heard about it. Generally, I am a Noah Baumbach fan, although his previous movie as a director, Margot At The Wedding, I actually didn't care for that much. Maybe, just maybe, I lost interest somewhat because Ben Stiller was cast as the lead and, I believe, Mark Ruffalo was originally the lead. I run hot and cold with Ben Stiller to be honest. All this is fascinating, I am quite sure. So that's a roundabout way of saying I caught Greenberg last night and was pleasantly surprised, and sort of annoyed that I didn't catch it in the theater before. Why was I pleasantly surprised? Well, as an actor I happen to enjoy Mark Ruffalo more usually, but Ben Stiller was just right as the grouchy, sort of off, Roger Greenberg. From what I understand, Ben Stiller is a real jerk in his real life, so this character seems sort of up his alley, but not in a cartoonish way he plays these sorts of roles in other ways. It actually felt more lived in and real. At any rate. her plays the title character who comes back to Los Angeles where he has to confront not only the life that he is living now, but also the mistakes he made which drove him away fifteen years earlier, even though he ostensibly is just there to housesit for his brother. This sort of thing if done a certain way can drive me up a wall, see the forty somethings in Sideways, where a man approaching middle age starts to get all resentful of the mistakes he made. But Greenberg seems to get it right. And for whatever for a chatty, grouchy, know-it-all, he didn't drive me crazy, and I think it all works out. I mean, in the end, he makes some baby steps towards improving himself, and I guess you could say, in life, thats sort of all we can ask for.

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