noah BAUMBACH’s misanthropes are always a breath of fresh air amongst the redundant landscape of the overwhelmingly quirky, twee protagonists of current american cinema. the movie is a great exploration of generation x’s directionless slacker at 40. ben stiller’s greenberg has set out at his 41st birthday to “do nothing deliberately” following a mental breakdown. he is hilariously contrasted against 26 year old florence played by mumblecore’s finest, greta gerwig.
greenberg also borrows mumblecore’s mark duplass and features exceptional performances by rhys ifans and jennifer jason leigh [who also co-wrote the story]. the cinematography is the work of the brilliant harris savides who evokes altman’s the long goodbye and bob rafelson’s five easy pieces with his long lyrical shots of sunny la. the movie has plenty of backbone as well as the best grocery list committed to celluloid – “whiskey and ice cream sandwiches.’