If you are in the mood for pretentious, laborious clap trap, then Greenberg  will speak to you. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding, The Squid and the Whale), with story by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Greenberg stars Ben Stiller, Rhys Ifans, Greta Gerwig and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Greenberg is Roger Greenberg’s (Ben Stiller) story. Freshly released from a New York mental institute after suffering a nervous breakdown and back in LA following a 15-year absence, Roger is in an angry, fragile state of mind. While house and dog-sitting for his successful brother, Greenberg tries to reconnect with old friends as well as make new ones. He strikes up a shaky romance with his brother’s much younger personal assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig) who’s got problems of her own and tries desperately to re-establish his friendship with long-ago roommate, Ivan (Rhys Ifans). The movie follows the ups and downs of these relationships.

This review may actually make the movie sound more interesting than it is. While the acting is ok—Stiller is always entertaining, Ifans successfully demonstrates that he can really act and Gerwig shows much promise–the story is very, very boring. Sorry, Jennifer Jason Leigh. You are a fabulous actress and very good in Greenberg, but as a story-teller…quite frankly, you stink.

Baumbach doesn’t write mainstream movies, but until Greenberg his movies were quirkily interesting. Greenberg is just plain dull.

1 nugget out of 4


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