Off-topic movie review: Greenberg

Ben Stiller’s Greenberg is like a negative Garden State.

You know, there’s a guy who has some issues he’s working out. He travels across country for family reasons. He meets a girl with issues of her own. The guy hangs around people he knew from a long time ago.

Except there’s no real happy ending. Or happy middle, for that matter. There’s a whimsical 5-minute section about three-quarters of the way through, but that’s about it. Usually, the glimpses of happiness are filtered through melancholy.

Greenberg fits into this adult “coming of middle-age” drama that’s packaged as a comedy; and I guess it is a comedy in the same way that emo music was funny.

Of course, this isn’t the first type of this movie. I imagine The Squid and the Whale, which is another Noah Baumbach, is similar. The Savages, of course, is the template for this movie.

What else would fit? Would you consider Lost in Translation in this genre? Or does Bill Murray pull it out of the depression?

What about Darjeeling Limited? Or does the fact the three brothers make a connection and get rid of their luggage (literally and figuratively) push it outside the genre?

What are some other films that would fit in the whole Greenberg/The Savages/Coming-of-Middle-Age-Marketed-as-Comedic-but-Not-Really genre? And what is their attraction?

Let me know in the comment section.

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One thought on “Off-topic movie review: Greenberg

  1. Most Wes Anderson movies tend to have that feel but he pulls a resolve in the last moments. I recall Little Miss Sunshine being very similar to this, I don’t believe there is any resolve, but its been awhile since I have seen it.

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