Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach
Starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Noah Baumbach, the Oscar-nominated writer and director of THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, has a knack for creating characters that are troubled and difficult to be around. His fascination with giving a voice to those no one wants to hear, shows his immense sympathy as a writer and director, but it also means that his characters are not easy to endure for two hours straight. In his latest film, GREENBERG, he gives us another gem of a man – complicated, broken and the kind you would desperately avoid if you could.
Ben Stiller is this man, one Roger Greenberg. Fresh from his time in a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown, Greenberg has left the comforts of New York City to do nothing for a while at his brother’s place in Los Angeles. While in the city, he meets up with buddies and ex-girlfriends from his rock star youth days but not because he wants to. He does so because it is a lot easier than forming any new relationships in his life. The supporting cast - Rhys Ifans and Jennifer Jason Leigh representing the old and Greta Gerwig charmingly representing the new - struggle too but the way they handle themselves only further shows how little dealing Greenerg is actually doing. Still that naïve, failed rocker, he has not progressed past his glory days and he is quickly realizing that they weren’t so glorious to begin with.