Thursday, January 27, 2011

Greenberg: Spoiler Alert, He's a Sociopath!

Rebekah and I just watched Greenberg. Countdown for MASSIVE eye-roll commencing in 5...4...3...

Gah, what the goddamn fuck is with these navel-gazing movies about totally abusive, socially demented fuckwads? The kind of "socially awkward" (read sociopathic), dorky guys who know a lot about one particular topic (music, movies, video games) and then rub their abnormal, inconsequential knowledge in the face of everyone they meet but that is mainly to distract from the fact that their soul is a giant abyss of broken glass.

The guy who bullies to make his victim a 'better' person. The guy who does awful, mean things for a laugh although more often than not is the only one laughing, things like, throw a group mascot into a camp fire FOR NO REASON or throwing a gutter tomato (it is exactly what it sounds like, a tomato that was in the gutter) at their friend/roommate pointblank and being disappointed when it doesn't explode, merely hurts.

The guy who shits on everyone else's dreams and aspirations because, he does not have any. The fucked up guy who will sleep with someone out of the blue without any explanation (like, actually out of the blue -- in the middle of the night, under the cloak of darkness) and then be a complete asshole about it immediately after. Oh shit, my reality is mixing with the movie!

Why on earth would Noah Baumbach make a film romanticizing such a depraved type of character? The only explanation I can think of is that he himself is that depraved type of character. If it was simply a case of knowing someone like Greenberg then there would be no glamourizing his awful behaviour. I lived with that kind of guy for two years and, eight months later, my scars are barely beginning to heal. He destroyed my self-worth, my faith in me, my dreams. He was condescending and cruel and if I were to ever dedicate any sort of screenplay or novel to a character like him (not bloody likely), it would be only to dole out the gravest misfortunes in a 'you get what you give' kind of way. 

So, Greenberg... Here we have a beautiful, talented and secure woman, Florence, who meets this twisted robot, Roger Greenberg, who is the brother of her boss (she is his personal assistant). Roger just got out of the hospital (mental breakdown of some sort, not an epic beat-down). The two meet, she likes him (as open-minded, compassionate women are wont to do); he wants to bang her, maybe, but he definitely wants to get back together with Jennifer Jason Leigh, whom he broke up with fifteen years prior to this steaming pile. She doesn't want anything really to do with him and so Roger is back to Florence. They almost hook up, but, he berates her. They get together, but, he berates her. She almost gets away, but, she falls prey to the mating call of the tyrannical bully. Good times! The abusive dickweed gets the girl! Hurray! Throughout the movie he alienates everyone in his life by being treating them viciously. There is not a charming or decent or kind bone in his body. This is just one more 'misunderstood' jerk from the land of Larry David.   

There should be a place, a barren island in the middle of the ocean, where these turds can be abandoned to roam free like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. A place where the only people they can hurt are each other except they wouldn't hurt each other because they are emotionally dead. And their lovely family members, partners, children, friends (and roommates, ahem) can heal and rejoice to live in a world where they are not on a constant emotional roller-coaster. Their self-esteem will strengthen without the daily, hourly insults, belittling, mocking digs and the world will be a better place; the sun will shine all day, every day; birds will come and sit on your outstretched hand with a song just for you; and puppies and kittens will never get any less adorable.

In short here is my official rating for the movie: 


  1. When I first saw a trailer for this movie last spring made me curious. But the second trailer changed my mind; it was a completely different concept than what I had originally expected. This review confirmed that sentiment.

    I dig the Jurassic Park reference.

  2. Really, don't waste your time. I just am in shock that we are supposed to feel anything but disdain for Greenberg.