If someone had told me a month ago that Ben Stiller could play a serious movie role successfully, I wouldn’t have believed them. That was until March 19, when his new film “Greenberg” was released to theaters.Ben Stiller plays Roger Greenberg, an unsuccessful musician fresh out of a New York City psychiatric hospital who believes that “life is wasted on people”.
To escape his sad atmosphere, Roger flies to California to house sit for his brothers family. Although the new scenery would’ve been enough for most people to cure the “blues”, Roger spends his days drinking liquor, eating ice cream sandwiches and dwelling on the past.
That’s until he meets Florence, his brother’s assistant, and they begin a quick and confusing affair. Roger tries his best to love her, but his strangely tangled mind won’t let his feelings for her show.
So, while trying to figure out his desires, he also tries to mend broken friendships of his past and figure out what he really wants in life.
If this film proves anything to an audience, it is that Stiller can dedicate himself to any role, and make it realistic. I would’ve never thought that the man responsible for “Zoolander” could take on a deep emotional role, and have it be relatable.
“Greenberg” is a cynical and humorous look at life. This dark drama can be a turn off for some people, but for those who are drawn more to realism than fantasy, this is a must-see.
Writer/director Noah Baumbach was successful in his attempts to make this movie a memorable one. But this film may not have been so satisfying if it weren’t for the outstanding performances by Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh and indie film star Greta Gerwig, whose quirky characters only make the film feel more authentic.
If you are looking for an uplifting film where you leave the theater knowing everything worked out and all your questions were answered, I would suggest you search for another film. This film is an honest portrayal of life, including all the humor, happiness and heartbreak that it contains. But even with the roller coaster of emotions, don’t expect a complete happy ending.