Greenberg (2010) starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Merritt Wever directed by Noah Baumbach Movie Review

Greenberg (2010)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (2010)

Left me Colder than an Iceberg

Everyone is different, what entertains me maybe stupid to others whilst what entertains some people bores me senseless, that's how we are. So with that in mind when I say that "Greenberg" is one of the most mind numbingly boring movies I have ever watched please don't be offended. I just don't get what I call neurosis cinema, where we have a central character with a lot of issues which makes him act in a slightly inappropriate manner; it just doesn't interest or entertain me even when well acted. And that is what "Greenberg" is a well acted movie, in fact one of Ben Stiller's best performances, but a movie all about a character with issues, whose issues are meant to entertain but don't.

Florence (Greta Gerwig) is an easy going sort of girl who works as assistant to the Greenberg family, so easy going that even though they haven't paid her for a few weeks she wouldn't dare mention it. But the Greenberg's are going away and Mr. Greenberg's brother Roger (Ben Stiller - Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian) is staying in their house for a while to do some work around the place so Florence will be on call for him. Roger interests Florence because having just got out of hospital after suffering a breakdown has a variety of issues which make him act inappropriately especially as he is now approaching his 41st birthday.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ben Stiller in Greenberg (2010)

So what happens in "Greenberg"? To be honest very little because this is a character study movie, a movie all about Roger and how he is dealing with life, his insecurities and growing old. Now I have nothing against character studies, they are often fascinating but having never been to a therapist I just don't get movies about a character riddled with neurosis. It just doesn't entertain me to watch a grown man acting awkwardly whilst over analyzing everything and because that is pretty much all that happens in the movie, with the exception of a sick dog and a few sex scenes I find "Greenberg" incredibly boring. But on the flip side of this I am sure those who are fascinated by neurotic characters full of hang ups will love watching the socially awkward Roger Greenberg try to deal with life.

Despite finding "Greenberg" mind numbingly boring there is no denying that it features a trio of good performances with Rhys Ifans delivering a grown up performance as Roger's best friend and Greta Gerwig having a naturalness about her as Florence. But it is Ben Stiller who blows you away because his straight performance as Roger is brilliant, he gets across that Roger is a man of multiple issues which have lead him to shut himself off from living and now approaching the age of 41 having to deal with them. Whilst I could never recommend that you watch "Greenberg" for entertainment I can if you want to see how great Ben Stiller can be when playing it serious.

What this all boils down to is that "Greenberg" didn't do it for me, not because of being a character study but because it is a movie which doesn't really go anywhere. But if you want to see Ben Stiller doing something different and playing it straight I suggest watching it as Stiller delivers one of his finest performances.