“GREENBERG” neither made me squirm the way those did, nor did it have enough mixed pathos & comedy to make one ride the highs and lows so dramatically as we did in those other films.
Stiller wasn’t the problem. I don’t know, maybe it was Greta Gerwig. I thought I was sort of in love with her when I saw her in “BAGHEAD”, but now I’m wondering if she’s so fixated on being “real” in her films that she comes off as totally phony-baloney. I turned off “HANNAH TAKE THE STAIRS”, a film of hers from last year, midway through because I just couldn’t take it – but I blamed the film’s shortcomings squarely on the director. This time, though the budget is much “bigger” than that handheld nearly-home movie, she still grates on me with her I’m-such-a-complicated-arty-twentysomething act, and the thought that she’d be attracted to Greenberg at all, especially after his first bungled attempt to make some magic happen with her, is preposterous. Is this what a “real” urban 23-year-old is supposed to be like these days? Man, I’ll steer way clear of the Mission District, Williamsburg and Silverlake if so.
I guess it just didn’t add up at the end of the day. The film’s characters don’t reach any dénouement, as the French say, and no one grows or changes or figures it out. Since they’re all so unlikeable to begin with – well, there it is. Hedonist Jive says go watch some Giants playoff baseball instead.