Ben Stiller's new film "Greenberg" casts him in one of his most challenging and mature roles yet. It's the kind of quirky and tense film that you sit and squirm while watching because of the lead characters extreme discomfort and alienation, while rooting for him all at the same time. The film also introduces Florence Marr, in her first big film, as the delightfully awkward but irresistible young romantic lead in the storyline's May December relationship.
For Ben Stiller, "Greenberg" looks like the kind of career shifting movie that "Lost in Translation" was for Bill Murray.
Stiller is getting older, and his days of Zoolander, Flirting with Disaster, and other light romantic comedies as the leading man are almost behind him unless he reinvents, which he does pretty masterfully in this oddly independent feeling film.
He plays the title character, a dysfunctional orphan of 90s hipsterdom cast adrift in a world where his game no longer has much context, and he is facing irrelevance and loneliness.
Lots of painful moments as his character comes to the brick walls created by his self absorption and assumptions. Like Murray's character in Lost in Translation, the driving emotional force is a impenetrably sweet young girl from a different generation.
Unlike Murray however, Greenberg doesnt have to rediscover the lost simple pleasures of youth in himself, but rather has to stop obsessing over his own lost youth. It is a rite of passage film, as we follow the characters through hard decisions to the eventual turning point.
Arty, tersely directed and imbued with an indie feel, there won't be a man in his forties that won't wince at Stiller's bang on performance. He accurately captures the midlife dregs of generation X and for that alone the film is worth watching.
It will be playing at the Five Points Theater through Thursday the 20th,
5 Points Theatre
1028 Park Street Jacksonville, Florida 32204
For movie information or questions please call: (904) 359-0047