GREENBERG (Alliance, 2010) D: Noah Baumbach, w/.

GREENBERG (Alliance, 2010) D: Noah Baumbach, w/ Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig. Rating: NNNN DVD package: NN Rating: NNNN

People in the skimpy and not very informative extras keep telling us that Greenberg is funny. I didn’t laugh once, or even smile. Roger Greenberg is too painfully real for that. He is bitter, defensive, self-centred and rude. He’s also anxiety-ridden, desperately lonely and at peace only when he’s doing carpentry.



Visiting L.A. to house-sit for his bro-ther, Roger tries to reconnect with old friends and starts a relationship with his brother’s assistant, Florence. She’s as directionless as he is, and their tentative moves toward one another look more like destructive co-dependence than romance, unless you choose to see hope in the open-ended finale.

Ben Stiller gives such a meticulous performance that you can distinguish every shade of Roger’s defensiveness and carefully hidden remorse. Greta Gerwig, as Florence, matches his honesty. They both deserve major awards.

EXTRAS Three making-of docs. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.

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