Robin Williams did One Hour Photo and it was awesome. Jim Carrey did The Number 23 and it was awesome. Ben Stiller did Greenberg and it was boring.
Greenberg is Ben Stiller's attempt at dramatic acting and while I did appreciate his effort, the film really has nothing interesting going on for it. It's directed by Noah Baumbach, the guy behind The Squid and The Whale; which I loved. So it's about this guy named Roger Greenberg who moves in to house sit for his brother after having a nervous breakdown and he tries to figure out his life by doing absolutely nothing. Yayy so exciting.
For a positive side, Ben Stiller does give an impressive dramatic performance in Greenberg, I still love his awkward slapsticks more but I think the character gave him exactly what he wanted, which is to demonstrate his range as an actor. Unfortunately for Stiller, his character isn't likable at all. His character is that person that you kind of know that you and your friends try to stay away from cause he's weird. And yes, that person is also me. But you get my point.
Greenberg is such a socially destructive person that it's hard for me to care about what happens to him. And it would have worked if Noah Baumbach made the Greenberg character somewhat fascinating which will give audiences something to latch onto like Sue Sylvester or Barney Stinson who are assholes but are still likable because they are interesting to watch.
And it doesn't help Stiller at all that he was outshone by his co-star Greta Gerwig. I don't know who this girl is but I love her. She's good looking and she has a very unusual yet charming method of delivering lines. Her character was one if not the only good things this movie had going for. For the most part, the scenes with Gerwig were awkward but funny and she made the most out of the paper thin romantic plotline logic between herself and Stiller.
The writing of the film felt somewhat unfinished, it starts out okay introducing interesting characters and potentially good storylines which never get developed at the end. If you are going to make a character study, I'd like to have seen the characters actually develop or confront each other in the film. There is a small plotline with Ben Stiller and Rhys Ifans that was great, it was building and building to a potential dramatic confrontation about their character's pasts but it never happens. Wasteful and unstructured.
This film isn't bad because it had awful acting or direction, it was just plain boring. There is just no entertainment value to Greenberg.