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MPAA Rating: R for some strong sexuality, drug use, and language.
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy Drama
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 19, 2010 (NYC/LA—3 theaters)
March 26, 2010 (select cities)
DVD: July 13, 2010
Copyright, Focus Features click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Focus Features

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Ben Stiller (Roger Greenberg), Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Beth), Dave Franco, Rhys Ifans (Ivan Schrank), Chris Messina (Phillip Greenberg), Brie Larson, Merritt Wever (Gina), Greta Gerwig (Florence Marr), Greta Gerwig (Florence), Mark Duplass (Eric Beller), Max Hoffman (Jerry), Susan Traylor (Carol Greenberg), Mina Badie (Peggy), more »
Director: Noah Baumbach—“The Squid and the Whale,” “Margot at the Wedding
Producer: Scott Rudin Productions, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub
Distributor: Focus Features

“He’s got a lot on his mind.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A New Yorker moves to Los Angeles in order to figure out his life. At a crossroads in his life, Roger Greenberg (Stiller) ends up housesitting at his brother’s home in Los Angeles. There, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his brother’s assistant Florence (Gerwig), an aspiring singer. Florence and Greenberg’s encounters lead to an uncertain and vulnerable courtship.

GREENBERG stars Ben Stiller (in the title role), Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson (“United States of Tara”), Juno Temple, Mark Duplass, Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”), and Chris Messina; and features the first original film score by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.”

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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Negative—It is not easy to not recommend a movie that is as well crafted as Greenberg is, but as a Christian, I have to. The story about Roger Greenberg’s recent release from a psychiatric facility is written well, his dysfunction very apparent. All the supporting characters are clearly introduced. The acting is good. But be forewarned that this is not the comedy the world thinks it is. There is graphic fornication, use of drugs, emotional abuse of women, abortion. Only at the end does this morose, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, insensitive main character develop a tiny sense of responsibility for his actions, and for me it was simply too little too late. I am not pleased that I saw this movie, though I guess I am glad I satisfied my curiosity about its artistic merit.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Halyna Barannik, age 64 (USA)
Movie Critics
…the latest acutely attentive, intentionally painful study in upper-middle-class discomfort from Noah Baumbach…
—Lisa Schwarzbaumm Entertainment Weekly
…for those looking for realistic, complex characters coping with believable emotional hurdles, this is an unexpected gem.
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…I never knew who Ben Stiller was born to play, but now I do. I don’t mean he is Greenberg, but that he makes him a convincing person and not a caricature. …[3½/4]
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…this character study pushes the definition of comedy to the breaking point, and unlike the far less successful “Margot at the Wedding,” it leaves us faintly smiling after the workout. …
—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…What saves it, however, is Gerwig. The love story ain’t credible, but her performance is, perfectly capturing a young woman who doesn’t lack confidence so much as a sense of self. Consequently, she keeps trying on different personas, a super-organizer by day, a bar cruiser by night. …
—Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail
…I have to admit, though, that what kept me going was the German shepherd. Stricken with illness early on, Mahler was the only character whose fate I really cared about. [3/4]
—Peter Keough, The Boston Phoenix