The only film that I've seen that Noah Baumbach has directed is The Squid and the Whale and I thought is was brilliant. I remember calling my Mom right after I saw it and begged her to go see it. It was so good and so original, even though it uses some very famous music in it like Pink Floyd, it's executed very well. For some reason I skipped his next film Margo at the Wedding and waited for Greenberg. I don't know. There was something about Margo at the Wedding that just didn't appeal to me at the time. But after seeing what Baumbach did with Greenberg I'm very excited to go back and watch Margo.
Greenberg is about Roger Greenberg, played by Ben Stiller, who moves back to Los Angeles from New York City for a month to house sit for his brother who's on vacation in Vietnam with his wife and kids. While there he strikes up a weird and extremely awkward relationship with his brothers assistant/nanny Florence, played by Greta Gerwig. We quickly come to find out that Roger is an ex-musician who could have possibly made it big time if it weren't for a rash decision on his part to refuse a record deal. Now he's a carpenter who just want's to do a whole lot of nothing for a while, as he puts it. While in L.A. he comes into contact with a few few old friends, some of which were in his band and are still quite upset about his decision. But the majority of the film focuses on Greenberg and how much he simply just....hates everything.
The film is a good mixture of drama and dark comedy. There are some really funny moments though including a scene at a restaurant during Rogers birthday dinner, a last minute pool party Roger decides to throw, and an unexpected visit from his teenage niece who throws a massive party at the house. This was actually my favorite scene in the entire film and shows that Ben Stiller has acting abilities that no one has ever seen before as the party starts with him doing coke for the first time in years (hilarious scene), and ends with an intense argument with his best friend in the backyard.
Greenberg may seem to drag here and there but overall I was very much entertained by simply just watching the character of Roger Greenberg being played out by Stiller. He's kind of a more angry version of Larry David, and more of an ahole. With that, I will end this review with my favorite quote from the film by Roger Greenberg, "Some people say that youth is wasted on the young, I say that life is wasted on people". Greenberg gets a 4 outa 5.