It could have been easy to dislike Roger Greenberg, the heart of the new and wonderful Greenberg (in select theaters 3/19): After all, he’s a hopelessly adrift, narcissistic neurotic. And yet, thanks to an impeccable script and direction by Noah Baumbach, you’ll find yourself rooting for him to find a happy ending.
Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is staying at his younger and more successful brother’s house for six weeks after some sort of nervous breakdown, and is grappling with the discovery that at 40-something, he has had the world grow up beyond him. Stiller gives a tremendous performance, infusing Greenberg with enough wit and warmth and flashes of insight (“All the men out here dress like children, and the kids dress like superheroes,” he observes at an L.A. backyard BBQ) to make him likable. But trust us, you’re going to be hearing a lot about his young, pretty co-star, Greta Gerwig, who threatens to charmingly steal every scene.
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