- 1 hr 47 min
Greenberg is a 2010 comedy-drama directed by Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The movie is a character study of a middle-aged man named Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), who is recovering from a nervous breakdown and comes to Los Angeles to house-sit for his brother, Phillip Greenberg (Chris Messina).
Greenberg is an atypical romantic comedy-drama with a lot of heart and depth. The movie takes place over a few weeks, during which the viewers follow Greenberg as he struggles to reconnect with society, make up for his past mistakes, and find a sense of purpose in life. The plot is driven by the interactions between Greenberg and the people he meets, which showcases the diverse range of human emotions, from frustration to empathy, from love to anger.
At the beginning of the film, Greenberg is shown as a difficult and complex man. He is very critical, defensive, and self-absorbed, which leads to him having strained relationships with people around him, including his former bandmates, former best friend, and his brother's assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig). Despite being paranoid and anxious, Greenberg convinces himself that he is trying to reconnect with his former flame, Beth (Jennifer Jason Leigh), even though she has moved on and has a family of her own.
Greenberg's character is portrayed in a realistic way, highlighting his struggles with everyday life and his inability to move forward. He is shown grappling with the onset of middle age and the resultant ennui that comes with it. He feels like he has missed out on life, and there is nothing left for him to do. He regrets his past mistakes and missed opportunities, and this constant self-reflection and criticism make him self-destructive and moody.
The character of Florence is at the center of Greenberg's transformation. She is a sweet and empathetic person who genuinely cares about others. On the surface, she is the perfect foil for Greenberg - she is easy-going, kind, and forgiving. However, as he spends more time with her, Greenberg realizes that Florence is dealing with her own set of issues, including the fact that she is romantically involved with Greenberg's brother, Phillip while harboring feelings for Greenberg himself.
Greenberg and Florence's interactions reveal a lot of different sides to both characters. The movie explores their relationship in detail, delving into the dynamics of their interactions and revealing their vulnerabilities. Gerwig and Stiller's performances help to bring out these nuances in the script, and their chemistry is unmistakable on the screen.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is playing the role of Beth, is one of the most exciting parts of the movie. Although she has a small role in the film, she manages to command the attention of the audience through her poignant and emotionally charged performance. She brings a lot of depth to the character and helps to provide a potent contrast to Greenberg's arc.
Overall, Greenberg is an engaging and thought-provoking film that tackles some complex and tough themes such as middle-age ennui, regret, loneliness, forgiveness, and empathy. It provides a realist portrayal of how people struggle with relationships, not only with others around them but also within themselves.
While the movie may not be everyone's cup of tea, it is a delightful watch for anyone who is willing to immerse themselves in the characters and their journey. Ben Stiller's nuanced performance as Greenberg is one of the most significant reasons for this. The movie is an expertly produced satire drama that is honest and relatable without being dull or maudlin. Fans of Stiller's previous work are sure to find much to appreciate in his portrayal of a man struggling with his past and finding his way back to a better future.
Greenberg is a 2010 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 76.