Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Greenberg (2010)

Baumbach's Bitter Middle-Age.

Whatever happened to Grover, the main character from Kicking and Screaming? By now, he's probably a hopelessly adrift prick who owns, proudly, a do-nothing-say-everything attitude with no targeting computer, sometimes tragically blanketing people who don't deserve it and playing Jai Alai with the life of a beloved family pet. He'll have never learned that "doing nothing" isn't a solution, it's the fucking problem, and at this age it ain't cute no mo'. Greenberg resides in an unending hell and deserves it. And this time it's in Los Angeles!

For something that is only a series of uncomfortable situations queued together with little overriding plot to tie it all together, its focus on an insufferable main character, it works. Stakes are kept as low as Greenberg's ambition and he isn't much rewarded or punished for his behavior. Baumbach has reclaimed some of the magic concoction from The Squid and the Whale, only now he is (thankfully) returning to a more classical style of filmmaking after the deluge of low-fi hi-def video handheld shit. All those special effects artists making 200+ shots of a blue light shooting into the atmosphere has freed up the tripods. Good good. And because Baumbach's material is autobiographical, we can look forward to the film he makes about a character who writes a movie with his wife and then leaves her for the much younger lead actress.

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