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Greenberg (2010)

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A man from Los Angeles, who moved to New York years ago, returns to L.A. to figure out his life while he house-sits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother's assistant.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Greenberg Boy
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Greenberg Girl
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Emily Lacy ...
Gallery Band Member
Aaron Wrinkle ...
Gallery Band Member
Heather Lockie ...
Gallery Band Member
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Guy at Gallery
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Zach Chassler ...
Marlon
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Peggy
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Blair Tefkin ...
Megan - Beller's Party
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Storyline

We like Florence: she's considerate, sweet, pretty, and terrific with kids and dogs. She's twenty-five, personal assistant to an L.A. family that's off on vacation. Her boss's brother comes in from New York City, fresh from a stay at an asylum, to take care of the house. He's Roger, a forty-year-old carpenter, gone from L.A. for fifteen years. He arrives, doesn't drive, and needs Florence's help, especially with the family's dog. He's also connecting with former band-mates - two men and one woman with whom he has a history. He over-analyzes, has a short fuse, and doesn't laugh at himself easily. As he navigates past and present, he's his own saboteur. And what of Florence? is Roger one more responsibility for her or something else? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's got a lot on his mind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality, drug use, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den skeftomai, ara yparho  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$118,152 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Gross:

$4,216,789 (USA) (21 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original cast included Amy Adams and Mark Ruffalo. Maggie Gyllenhaal was considered for the lead role after Amy Adams dropped out. See more »

Goofs

During the "teenage party", Greenberg decides to change the music on the CD player and inserts "Rio" by Duran Duran. He only presses three times the "next song" button and should therefore reach the song #4 ("Hungry Like The Wolf"). Instead, it is "The Chauffeur" (song #9 on the CD) that can be heard, to everybody's dismay. See more »

Quotes

Florence Marr: You like old things.
Roger Greenberg: A shrink said to me once that I have trouble living in the present, so I linger on the past because I felt like I never really lived it in the first place, you know?
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Soundtracks

Everyone's At It
Written by Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin
Performed by Lily Allen
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Noah Baumbach and a (serious) Ben Stiller combine forces on this character piece.
10 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A shrink said to me once that I have trouble living in the present, so I linger on the past because I felt like I never really lived it in the first place, you know?"

Greenberg is a drama about...Greenberg. Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), to be specific. A 40 year-old New Yorker who returns to Los Angeles to stay at his successful brother's home while he and his family are away on a trip. He's not dealing with his life not going the way he planned as well as most of the other people he knows, and he's perpetually stuck in the past. The music he listens to is old, he talks to people about events that happened 15 years ago that they don't even remember, and he's just generally an unhappy guy. His main activity is writing letters of complaint to various companies.  

To say that Roger is flawed is an understatement. He just got out of a mental hospital recently, he's self-centered, and he tends to freak out about insignificant things as a way to protect himself from people and the world. Yet, I still liked him. As does Florence, (Greta Getwig) his brother's personal assistant who isn't exactly a model of happiness and mental health, herself, and Ivan (Rhys Ifans), Roger's long-suffering old friend and band mate, who is having family troubles of his own. 

If I had to compare this to another movie, it would be Rachel Getting Married. Not because of any plot similarities, but because of a similar tone and some shared themes. Specifically, being adrift in adult life and how issues and regretted decisions from youth can linger and fester. Also similar to Rachel Getting Married, there's never a breakthrough moment where the flawed characters are suddenly okay, and all the problems disappear.  If you expect grand resolutions from your movies, please avoid Greenberg. All we get is a sliver of light at the end that makes us think that something positive may be happening in some of these characters' lives. We're left to imagine and hope that Roger, Florence, and Ivan are on the road to getting (or finding out) what they need from life.  

So yeah, I liked it. It's a good "indie" drama, and quite different from Stiller's usual thing. Stiller and Gerwig were both great, the characters were well-written, and I've always been interested in these kinds of stories about adults flailing away blindly in this tricky thing we call life. If you're a fan of movies like Margot at the Wedding, The Squid and the Whale (both movies share Greenberg's director), and Rachel Getting Married, I'd suggest that you give this a try.


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