Thursday, March 15, 2012

movie review: greenberg.

greenberg
(link)
canadian theatrical release date: 26-march-2010
writers: noah baumbach, jennifer jason leigh
director: noah baumbach
starring: greta gerwig, ben stiller, rhys ifans, jennifer jason leigh

fun fact/nepotism alert!  the following actors and actresses appearing in greenberg have family members with existing hollywood careers: ben stiller, jennifer jason leigh, jake paltrow, juno temple, dave franco, max hoffman, and zosia mamet.  and the co-writers of the film are also married, though it seems they filed for divorce in 2010.  yay, real-life couples in art?
it's a fact.
watch along with us after the jump!  take a risk, for once in your miserable life.
i mean it's really your choice.

j/d: we begin this as we do each other movie, fast-forwarding through the Rogers crap.
r/r: this is a pleasing yet somewhat ostentatiously trendy colour palate in the onset.  not the focus logo!  just the wide shot of the city, as it pans towards the woman walking the dog.
j/d: always with the ladies, walking the dogs, eh, noah?
always the puppy, licking the face! (link)
j/d: la looks dirty, and has many noisy birds we can't see, as greta gerwig walks a dog, and then sits on a rock before showing up in a car.
r/r: i like her clothes!  they give a good sense of the season.  i like that it was so quiet at first too!
j/d: more opening credits.  thankfully, i don't drive in LA.
r/r: she's so likeable and cute!  i like how the music feels organically integrated into the narrative - like, we hear this song because she's listening to it too, not just because the filmmakers want us to be hearing it, but didn't bother to come up with a reason for it to exist in the secondary world.
j/d: crazy good cast, according to these faint white letters.
r/r: i'm a big fan of the amount of non-speaking shots/scenes of this lady so far.
j/d: everything's really supersaturated on this driving drive scene.  and now we're at the drycleaners! 2 shirts and some pants.
r/r: ah, farmer's markets.  interesting seeing her visit these upscale places when her car and thriftish fashions suggest these are outside of her income level/class. 
j/d: greta's at the market, and it looks tasty - yum! strawberries.
j/d: more driving, and now an arrival.
r/r: the music stopping when the trunk lid closes?  very nice!
j/d: ha. music stops with door slam
j/d: ooh, now in the house we have the painfully obvious reveal that greta, who is florence, is like, a PA… and the dog's name is mauler.
r/r: lol homonyms!!  i definitely hear "mahler."
r/r: the kids are cute!  they really like her. so natural, the jumpy excitement.
hahaha "mahler isn't coming?  i want mahler to come!"
j/d: that guy seems like ben stiller's brother, as he walks in the room. i assume he runs this house. har.
r/r: hey, vicky's husband from vicky cristina barcelona!  yay!  i think? that is my favourite woody allen movie.
r/r: i love her minimal makeup, or lack thereof.  really gives a sense or realism.  i also find the camera angles and shots to be very unintrusive.
j/d: so now they're briefing our dear florence as she helps them pack, and we're told a crazy brother from new york, fresh from the hospital is coming.
r/r: such intimate yet removed interactions - this job in general is that way, i suppose
j/d: "he's delicate'
j/d: suddenly, convened in the foyer!
j/d: these kids are poorly behaved
r/r: he's a carpenter!  
j/d: "i'm sure there's email in vietnam"
r/r: "i think there's email everywhere" 
j/d: so i suppose they're going to 'nam, and with poorly explained departure reasoning, but hey - INDIE MOVIES!.
r/r: "oh florence, you have to speak up."
golly!  that seems like an important statement!  i love baumbach's technique of seeding essential details through banal-seeming conversations and interactions.
j/d: florence has cool clothes.
r/r: you can really feel baumbach/leigh collaboration; both of their voices are palpable and
marry so well together.
j/d: a phone call from a girl called gina leads florence to a bar, where there's like, a party with some hipster looking fucks listening to some music we don't hear and getting drunk on cheap wine… gina leaves florence alone with some dude, and she spills the beans "nobody cares if i get up in the morning"… dude responds by kissing her. clearly a standup stranger…
quick dialogue, and the girls have split up for separate boys at florence's request.
r/r: yaaaay zoe from nurse jackie!  i'm looking forward to that coming back, yo.
r/r: again, the music is intentional - they are at a venue where music is being played.
r/r: yeaaaah..that guy's not listening to anything you're saying, florence
r/r: ugh, gross!  see my last comment.  but i like that gina checks in with florence, and when she says she wants to stay, gina respects that.
j/d: in front of dude's apartment, florence says this isn't a good idea, she just got out of a long relationship, stand-up dude tells her "this isn't a relationship."
j/d: now some sad in bed scene with sad music and nudity - oh, focus films.
r/r: that was really resonant and relatable.  these muddled motivations...attempting to fill several needs with what is accessible
j/d: i dislike when girls sleep with wrong guys in movies.
r/r: YES, THIS SO MUCH.  and also, the watch?  bangle?  really adds something to this nude scene for me.  a very grounding and humanizing detail.
j/d: driving home in the morning, talking to other drivers to no avail.
r/r: WOW great contrast to previous driving scene!  i love greta gerwig!
r/r: amusing and sad how now there seems to be much more to the rhetorical "are you going to let me in?"
j/d: ubiquitous mac! at florence's, that is.
r/r:
these macs certainly call attention to themselves.
r/r: yay, serious ben stillerrrrrr
i'm so stoked
j/d: roger calls florence from the kitchen "umm. there are people in the pool," he assesses, staring out the window.
r/r: i love how noah baumbach courts serious, nuanced performances from men who are primarily comedic actors portraying depression/mental illness. 
r/r: really tight shots to intro him
j/d: lol @ roger's shorts.
r/r: it's really neat how we meet him through interactions w/her, and open the film with her, and not him.  how much is he to be defined by their relationship?  it's quite the gendered inversion.
j/d: for a slow indie movie, this moves pretty slow. roger hangs out in a room takes a pill and messes with some toy xylophone chimp.
r/r: isn't there a stephen king short story about one of those?  possibly in skeleton crew?
j/d: now a voiceover letter complaint to american airlines.  stupid seat 26c.
r/r: sitting in c is THE WORST
haha, i reallydon't know what i mean by that
r/r: letter writing!  it is malcolm all over again, how great!
i really like the way the character's voice comes through in the letters.
j/d: a wild florence appears for her cheque!
r/r: fucking pokemon.
r/r: oh man, roger is so awkward around florence.  so much more timid than how he presents himself through his letters.
j/d: roger plays hipster ipod shuffle man, throwing on some 70s jams for florence. now some awwwwwkward conversations.
r/r: she doesn't know disco inferno?  wait, are we old now?
j/d: florence offers a item-run, and roger eventually succumbs to making a list.
r/r: roger's grocery list: whiskey
ice cream sandwiches
HAHA
j/d: "whiskey
   ice cream sandwiches"
r/r: his body movements and tension are very characterizing and well-expressed!
j/d: florence then proceeds to get ready for a w-a-l-k for mauler, but roger offers one up instead.
r/r: haha "okay byyye" florence bails.  she is lacking in some social graces in a way i find very endearing, and somewhat relatable.
j/d: cue boring hike with roger and mauler… i usually disagree with choral score.
r/r: i want to give mahler a hug.  big dog!
j/d: roger's back home and looking through his phonebook. he's calling IVAN!
r/r: ivan schrank, what a name!  i like how we're treated to a shot implying how long he and roger have had a relationship (the crossed out phone numbers preceding the one which he dials)
j/d: look out motherfuckers, it's DOC CONNORS! getting ready to go all lizard.
(link)
umm, anyway, roger leaves a voice-over voicemail as we see a montage of him being an awkward shit…he likes the dog though…and maybe the pool?
r/r: jeez louise, these people are rich!
j/d: yup, he's stripping down for a swim.
r/r: wow, the pool scene.
j/d: aaaand it turns out he can barely swim…making it into the deep end is a harrowing tale of courage and power.
j/d: that plane is loooooud, wonder what that symbolizes.
r/r:
                                        (link)
j/d: he's back inside, and reading about bloomberg and noise pollution to a bearded man who i canonly assume is Ivan, based on his cool beard and bitchin' jacket.
r/r: LIZARD!!!
                    (link)
r/r: hahaha they are still in the foyer - roger hasn't even let presumably-ivan in to the house properly.
j/d: now some awkward banter. holy smokes, lots of books.
holy shit, look at all the books! (link)
r/r: they have an interesting dynamic. 
j/d: offering some drinks up, roger is - but Ivan is STRAIGHTEDGE now! "i've got into these arnold palmers…" arnold palmers are great.
r/r: greenberg's reaction to ivan's sobriety "..okay."
j/d: the beard is cool!
r/r: agreed!  mmm, winter beard
(link)
j/d: this scene is awkward and boring?
"so what do you want to do now?"
this sounds like an afternoon at my house - not an exciting movie.
r/r: haha "maybe don't sit on the speaker?"
r/r: he thinks they talk more than they do, eh?  i wonder why that is.
j/d: man, these guys have no ideas about what to do while hanging out.
r/r: they really...roger is not an empathetic person in the slightest.  so many minor misunderstandings and miscommunications, the mismatched desires of wanting to go back to what once was vs wanting to forge something that encompasses who they are now.
j/d: "not sure about these pants, do they look flare-y to you?"
j/d: ivan is on a trial separation, and feels bad for that little person, victor. the fun hang-out friend. ooh, victor the little fun hangout person friend now. moral of that story: lonely? have kids!
r/r: "he's like a little person now." hahah "yeah but now he's 8, you know he's, he's like a friend.  he's fun to hang out with."
j/d: the party looks bumpin', and roger shits his pants. he wants to go home - mental problems abound - anger, anxiety, dance-moves!
r/r: oh man, that does seem like a nightmare!  poor roger. 
j/d: welp, they're in the party anyway, and homes in Cali are confusing. where do all the walls start?
r/r: uh, shut the door?
j/d: greenberg meets a bunch of people. and has awkward ass conversations about "being out here" with people. specifically, a couple of ladies who seem okay, and a couple of straight-up douchealabagaloos on the couch.
r/r: beller? bela?
  (link)
r/r: jennifer jason leigh! yay!  i like her sunglasses, they feel slightly self-conscious.
j/d: oooh, apparently some guy's dead, they say.
r/r: "grandma's pussy?"  what?
j/d: chapstick doesn't make your lips dryer, douche - it makes you realize more quickly when your lips are chapped.
r/r: ha, he knows exactly when they last saw each other. 
j/d: "all the men out here dress like children and the children dress like superheroes'"
r/r: roger always sounds like he is writing for the internet.
j/d: ooh, quick snappy racist dialogue about jewish people from the douchehammers on the couch.
r/r: "phillip's like a less jewish-looking version of you"
"have you been to one of eric's seders?  eric gave trees to israel."
"am i not allowed to joke about it?

"nono i'm just saying because you said less jewish looking because most people think i look italian becase my mom was actually protestant so i'm not actually jewish at all, so" (paraphrase)
j/d: there's a lot of back and forth in the editing of this party scene, it's pretty whippy and quick, moving along conversations more quickly than i thought it would.
r/r: "i'm a carpenter?  you know, for money?"  haha
j/d: there's an allusion to a past career in music, from beth - beth! the "!" denotes she's a hefty character, or something. she has import, and such.
r/r: a jewish-american comedy about a guy doing nothing, eh?  where have i heard that before?
(link)
j/d: children run, as there are many at this party, and they swarm greenberg from a camera angle reminiscent of dawn of the dead, before we cut back to the house, and ANOTHER complaint letter - this one to starbuck's. fucking starbucks, they're no good at anything. ooh, man. this guy's handwriting is terrible. i read once that penmanship has direct correlation to mental health - coincidence? or movie magic? r/r wonders too.
r/r: jesus, his handwriting!!  indeed!!
j/d: greenberg decides to call florence, having vented his frustrations about starbucks for another day.
r/r: oh good, he's calling florence!  i was starting to miss her.
r/r: she's always preoccupied when they talk, or otherwise engaged!  ("sorry, i'm eating," "i'm just quitting e-mail")
j/d: awkward conversation begets a drinking date 'i don't drive' he tells her, so she picks himup.
j/d: roger inspects her cds in the car and florence forget her purse - le shock - she still gets carded.
r/r: we do get so awkward when others are in our space, don't we?  the things we take forgranted.  it's a cute moment.
r/r: and this continues into her apartment!
j/d: at her apartment - small and sad - she doesn't read enough, and is unhappy around her dad and has a niece she wants a relationship with - her birthday is soon - exposition!  exposition! expositions!
r/r: she's kind of oddly open in a way that feels familiar - perhaps it's generational?
j/d: cool puppets.
j/d: roger's thirsty, and bridge and tunnel blah blah hipster.
r/r: i like the way she talks, like she's always both excited and uncomfortable.  also, i like her green jacket. 
j/d: florence's coat is great.
j/d: she has corona and cheap tequila.
r/r: noo tequila nooo
j/d: splitting the corona. this is some classy ass shit.
r/r: i love alllll the dialogue in this scene.
j/d: florence drinks second, as they stand super close, and gets some hiccups. now they're kissing - that always works… this roger guy is pushy? ooh, maybe not. they're at the bed, and clothes are coming off ' 'i'm wearing kind of an ugly bra'…
is this what casual sex looks like? 'cause out side of florence being cute, no thanks.
r/r: hahaha awkwardest sex scene!  hey people, you know what makes for lousy sex?  negotiating absolutely NOTHING.  hahaha ace bandage!  "do you hear a train?  is that a train?  ...i get kind of nerdy."
j/d: they cool off, 'cause she doesn't want to go from "just having sex to just having sex to just having sex"
r/r: roger is a little demanding in his questions about her sexual history.
j/d: ooh, time for an awkward conversation about past lovers wherein a man feels jealous and territorial.
r/r: "how'd that go?"
"you mean the sex?"
"yeah."
"it' was pretty awkward."
hahaha
j/d: shit, he notices she has a spot on her lip and takes the express train to her bathroom to look for herpes drugs, he's unsuccessful, and just flushes the toilet.
r/r: ha!  immediately runs to check the bathroom for valtrex, turns back around to give a fake-flush with his foot.
r/r: she's in her quilted bathrobe?  hahaha florence you are hilarious
j/d: gina needs some advice, so florence needs to call, and roger wants to walk home, so florence will drive him, but its awkward, so he'll get a cab.
r/r: actually, i interpreted that as gina checking in on florence again, in awesome best friend fashion.
r/r: hahaha "i could probably call a cab.."
"okay!" 
j/d: florence is singing on saturday - 'cause the whole world is musicians, even in this movie.  that said, i'd go - i'm a musician.
r/r:
hey, i'm a musician!  (link)

r/r: aww, gina made flyers.  oh, club shows...it really is hard to pinpoint a schedule.
j/d: "i'm trying to do nothing right now."
"and i've got to stop doing things just cause they feel good."
r/r: "a mental patient just went down on you."j/d: there's some interesting crazy-hate in the background of that phonecall
r/r: i agree!
r/r: "he seems vulnerable."  indeed, i suppose he does.  that may be part of why he is so guarded and stubborn..his vulnerabilities have rendered him shortsighted to the needs of others.
j/d: exposition meal - roger has dinner with another bandmate - he fucked the band by backing out of a record deal 'i didn't want to be a slave to the fucking A and R department'… pfft..a & r? what about your management? distribution? publishing?promotions?  fuck your deal, itwouldn't have accommodated royalties gained via third party outlets like streaming and digital licensing. they'd end up restructuring months later to take larger cuts of your live revenue to offset the fact you haven't recouped. you won't recoup. you'll never recoup, and that's just the advance on album one. you'd have been dicked by 1999. anyway, roger fucked up ivan and the band.
r/r: ooh, backstory!  i like how this feels, very organic and not expository.  although clearly we disagree!
r/r: why are these guys having dinner?  they don't seem to like each other very much.
r/r: beller agrees with me!  "you know, why am i even here?  you're never going to change."
r/r: ha!  comedic running. 
r/r: wait, there's background music in this scene...did that start with roger?  i meant to make note of that.
j/d: now theres a morning cleanup the yard montage with lots of people, and roger prepping to build this dog house we were promised.
j/d: mauler don't look so hot… or looks overheated… but he doesn't look good.
r/r: how does one coax a dog to act sick?  does one simply cast a sick dog?
j/d: roger throws a toy, but dog sequence fetch does not initiate.
r/r: mahler is acting like a cat in his reaction to the frisbee. 
you want me to chase that?  go fuck yourself.
j/d: roger tries to call vietnam to no avail, ends up calling florence - i sense a trend.
r/r: i love how her voice changed when she realized who it was.
j/d: on the phone, florence says he might  be overheated, and roger is losing his shit.
j/d: to the vet, we go!
r/r: i like how she has her shoe off so she can pet mahler with her red-socked foot.
j/d: roger's annoyed by the wait, and coerces florence into inquiring as to how much longer, forcing her to stop comforting poor mauler.
r/r: haha greenberg is so manipulative.  what a dickhole.
j/d: kitty surgery?
r/r: whoa, cat surgery! 
j/d: mauler's staying over night, but should be able to come home tomorrow.
r/r: i like that the vet is latina!
j/d: on the phone, the brother is pissed 'they gave him an infusion?' roger's not taking notes, and that's the pitts. the family is angry, and brother wants answers. 'shit, should we be getting on a plane?' they'd do that? heated exchange! action and shit. there's some crap about their mom being dead, and the brother is yelling some more - they appear to like the dog way more than roger.. an awkward 'so… how are you doing? and questions about the dog house before 'yes a pool can overflow!… can a pool overflow? fuck you!'
r/r: oh man, they are so worried about their dog!  that's really sweet.  they would get on a plane to be with him!
r/r: aww, don't say "it," roger.  mahler's a "he."  but whoa, bringing up your dead mom like that, dude?
 leslie, did you forget how to have a conversation? (link)
r/r: um...can the pool overflow?HAHAAHA
"'take care of my house and dog.' 'oh, is he dead? sorry.'"
"'can the pool overflow?  fuck you!"
j/d: roger tries to fix the overflowing pool - the action is riveting, like mystery men!!
(link)
j/d: roger's now calling up 555-beth, only to hang up, 'cause he's a passive aggressive turdball full of cheese - instead, he looks at gina's poster for florence's show, and we cut to that!
r/r: ha, good timing roger...her set is underway and everything.
j/d: and florence is singing as soon as we get in! fucking right. she sings pretty well - i bet the a & r dept would totally enslave her, and fuck with her songs!
j/d: ha - that mic is so fresh and new.
r/r: "can i get four BEERS?"
so nondescript!
j/d: gina's here for "four beers." [she's] gina.  [she's] florence's friend. [she's] heard lots about [roger]
r/r: i love gina's world-wise attitude.  she's hilarious, and the sort of ballsy, loyal-as-fuck best friend i hope many women have. 
r/r: "isn't she beautiful?  she's so ultra-sexy and hot up there!"
j/d: 'isn't she beautiful? she's so ultra-sexy and hot up there.'
r/r: okay, that's at least the second time a different person (both of whom unrelated) has asked "what's that x" (where x = look or sigh) to greenberg. 
j/d: he's writing another letter in his head.
j/d: whats with the no-drive hate? we're cool, us non drivin' crazy musicians.
r/r: damn straight!  and i'm totally falling for florence.  i like it when they waved!
j/d: roger's cranking some (i)tunes in the empty house making a mix for florence. 
r/r: he's making her a mix?  that's so sweet and pretentious!
(link)
 j/d: now roger's eating with ivan, talking about birthdays and laying the verbal smackdown on 
superfluous- applause-like-it's-his-living-room guy.
r/r: roger is the master of the conversational soliloquy.
jd: i guess it is roger's birthday?
r/r: HAHAHAHAHAHAH "i'm weirdly on tonight."
i have met and befriended this type of person many times before, i'm not going to lie
j/d: "life is wasted on..people."
r/r: he debates inviting florence, which means he goes and calls her, and then returns to ivan and discusses the different dynamic created by youth.  they don't order, and ivan says "thanks" a lot.
r/r: i can understand why he'd gravitate so strongly toward trying to do 'nothing' and have things mean 'nothing,' when he is a person who can't stop reliving every excruciating moment and imbuing it with necessity and meaning even when there's no real reason to.
j/d: roger's back, and they're discussing their taste in women, apparently ivan likes racist women, and roger likes women he can create weird scenario-based  personalities for.
r/r: "i said i don't [find women in la that attractive]."  "oh, i do."
r/r: he's very competitive..is it ivan, or everyone?  he tends to be more deprecating but distant with others - though obviously still very concerned with how people perceive him.
r/r: racist vs. cultural debate, how i can relate.
r/r: is roger also uncomfortable with the power balance in his relationship/interactions with florence?  her place, her city, her being the one who can and does drive.
j/d: ivan's policing roger's drinking. and just as it's too late for them to "go whoring."
florence arrives.
r/r: "it's too bad neither of us are the type to go whoring."  i just gagged so hard on nothing.
r/r: haha, florence sits next to ivan!
j/d: in this moment, roger leaves to call beth, but the phone is answered by the flash who is a child, and roger is a raving piece of shit, who's roger, and not miller, roger. who is a dick for calling his ex, who is apparently beth, we've discerned from many parties and small talk.  more small talk, then he asks her out, and returns to table.
r/r: he's so predictable in his instability - the fact that ivan is surprised feels very genuine, though.  but it's clear that roger would run back to beth, to the person who encompasses a great deal of 'something' in his life, as his 'nothing' is not behaving as though she is sufficiently enamored of him.
j/d: everyone laugh!!
j/d: the band was called 'magic marker' and ivan has a bunch of ol' show posters.
r/r: do you think he brought them for roger's birthday, or he just carries them around all the time?  that would be majorly depressing.
j/d: the restaurant and everyone and all the crew is singing happy birthday to roger, who freaks out cause he "[hates] this shit" and then tells roger to sit on his dick. literally.
r/r: HAHAHAHAHAH "SIT ON MY DICK, ASSHOLE!"
j/d: after that, flo lets it slip that roger was in the mental hospital and ivan didn't know.
r/r: whoops, cat's out of the mental hospital bag.
(link)
j/d: they're driving home, and roger is complaining only to be interrupted by florence laughing about ivan being told to sit on roger's dick. yes, i word things this passively; no, the movie does not.
j/d: because it's his birthday, roger gets the present of one of those freaky puppets in florence's apartment, as well as praise about doing nothing - he defends his doing nothing, 'cause he almost did something. "you know i almost had a record deal when i got out of college."
j/d: this eventually leads to 'you could stay over, wink wink' from florence, which roger's icy-steely exterior can't shake off.
r/r: oh my god, whose could?! "mahler's not at home. you could stay over.  wink wink."
i just melted.  she is too fucking cute. 
j/d: "i'm not - i'm not supposed to - fuck it.  okay."
r/r: something adorably self-conscious in the way he says "fuck it.  okay."
r/r: haha and then she goes and sits on the floor in front of him.  i like how much she obviously likes interacting with him, not rushing to sex now that he's agreed to stay overnight.
j/d: now he's cutting up ivan's wife, who he (ivan) met in rehab, and talking about how he used to look up to this stylish cool english guy in college.
j/d: they call each other "man" to imitate other people.
r/r: right? this is sooooo characterizing. 
it's called "normalling." (link)

j/d: this scene is long and uncut, juxtaposing early citations.
j/d: -this story about picking up these old frat guys at sad hollywood bars and fucking with themand kind of fucking with themselves and the slow slide into it being sad and depressing is way too hard for roger to deal with… what would ivan do? not look for something to drink and then hulk smash before leaving the house like a prick.
(link)
r/r: oh wow.  oh WOW.  the writing in this scene is amazing. and her acting!  that moment, those multiple moments - the slow organic realization that what she intends to present as a ridiculous anecdote is actually somewhat disturbing (though nowhere near as much as roger's overreaction would suggest) - the moment she realizes to try and edit herself, and it is far too late to halt the intense judgemental reaction she sees coming but can't comprehend.  her  "what?" summed it up perfectly.  I LOVE HER.
j/d: "byee *slam* what is the point of that story?"
"what?!"
j/d: lol, gina and flo are on a hike, and flo is defending his assholishness, for whatever reason. gina says if flo is going to keep driving roger around, she'll stop talking to her.
r/r: "you can tell that a lot of normal stuff is really hard for him."
"like being nice?"  ahahaha gina
j/d: keeping away'll be tough, cause fast-foward, mauler is sick, and needs to move to a DIFFERENT vet, and ivan can't really drive him. ooh, he's pretty sick. survival rate is 50/50.
r/r: mahler has an autoimmune disorder?  i didn't even know that could happen to dogs.  i'm resisting a pun on lupus here, and i'd appreciate it if everyone else did the same!
j/d: time for another letter to hollywood pet taxi, who honestly, really does sound like they have shitty service and deserve to be investigated by the ASPCA, and the Yellow pages deserve a good reaming.
r/r: oh man, he's out with beth reminiscing about what he now sees as life-altering memories, and they mean so little to her now.  he's been completely unable to allow for the growth of the other people who inhabited his former life!

j/d: BETH DEFLECTION.

                         (L1 with the golden fleece)
"so you're a carpenter now."
j/d: ROGER REFLECTION - he built her that bed for the mattress!
j/d: he has a studio in bushwhack, and huh, psychologically couldn't move his legs.
r/r: hahaha "it's political though."
j/d: "so that took some time dealing with and pretty much brings us up to date."
j/d: oh no, roger's telling beth that after the viper room he sent her home because he wanted to party with girls and ended their relationship in uncommunicative manners. then he blurts "we could have
gotten married and had kids."
apparently this was a big relationship to him.
j/d:people exchanging shrink advice is so 90s.
r/r: "'you're of value.'  it's stupid, but it's always stayed with me."
r/r: ohhh man, she starts opening up/commiserating by talking bout her mom and he just keeps rambling about mahler - and not even about the pain of it,  just clarifications and ways to tie it back to him.
j/d: bro, her mom is sick, and you're insensitive… but he gets anxiety so….
r/r: "i kind of meant like, on a date."
"oh.  no!  i mean, that's a terrible idea.  no."  (paraphrase)
j/d: he offers a date. she says no 'like, this is a terrible idea' and literally chases the waitress down for the cheque. poor beth.
r/r: lindsay lohan?  lol aww, ivan.  "kinda funny.  she's got charm."
j/d: ivan is watching a lindsay lohan movie when roger calls him up. its called 'just my luck.'
j/d: "she's got charm"
j/d: roger says that ivan and he should write some songs.  Ivan defends with the old "has no time" and explains he doesn't think of himself as a guitar player anymore. thats sad.
j/d: roger's having a pool party now, apparently.
r/r: i like this song!  i wonder what it is. (edited to add: james murphy - please don't follow me)
j/d: this song sounds guitar hero, but good.
j/d: roger's walking back from getting party supplies. Fuck the World, Roger can move his feet now.
r/r: hahaha!  and i like the way they film roger when he's walking in public.  i feel that the lighting, choice of shots, etc. convey a sense of mild agoraphobia.
r/r: "i need to put together the chips and guac and creamsicles"
"i got you iced tea and lemonade, but i didn't know the right proportions so you'll have to make it."
j/d: alright, he's all anxious inside at his own party, and ivan wants to know what kind of tree the skinny one with yellow flowers is, 'cause peggy's husband wants to know. roger is complaining, 'chips and guac and creamsicles i bought.' … r/r geeks out here for gatsby references, as she is wont to do.
r/r: "are you pulling a gatsby and watching the party from afar?"
"i don't know that i need to document the reasons how this isn't like a gatsby."
OH MY GOD I DIE RIGHT NOW
j/d: roger's being a dick to ivan in the kitchen still, but we're quickly outside, past a half-finished doghouse. almost at the pool, he has to run back to the house because the phone's ringing! it's florence,and she wants to know about and see mauler.
r/r: i like the shot of the tray as he's exiting the house, and the look on his face so frantic as he tries to smile and acknowledge ivan's "hey!" and also turn and run back to answer the phone.
r/r: cute shoes, florence!  oh, the dress is nice too - simple, sweet and sexy. 
"sometimes i think he's a human in a dog costume."
j/d: this leads to a sweet scene with mauler and roger and florence hanging out at the vet
"sometimes i think he's a human in a dog costume."
r/r: finally, they're going to bang!
j/d: now they're back at home, and there's some extremely quick, awkward potentially gratifying sex. naah, no gratification there, upon further inspection.
r/r: another realistic and awkward scene - partially clothed, mismatched rhythms, over in under a minute.  no real illustration of birth control, though i suppose they may not have been able to show a condom after the fact.
j/d: florence is now reading over the mix tape/cd "i don't know any of this. i don't know karen dalton"… apparently she's from the 70s… more talk about old things and shrinks.
r/r: yeah, living the unlived life is pretty seductive to this guy.
r/r: oh, hey now - that's...a question.
j/d: she asks if he thinks he could love her - he says he doesn't know, and she gets awkward, and i feel bad for her. they're having an awkward standoff, and roger's mad because she "needs to stop calling him."  she says that was for mauler he tells her to take some responsibility, and he drops that they're not dating and that they're seeing other people but she's not seeing other people, but he wants to… apparently a divorced 38 year old with low expectations and teenage kids and an anger problem like his? florence leaves, as i can only assume, because roger is a fucking turdburger.
r/r: "i just get excited to see you and then i think i get worried it's going to go too fast so then i say things to get a reaction."
she's so honest and real, it's uncanny!  i've never seen a woman like this in a film before.
r/r: roger's such a dick!  dude, figure it out, you can't define other pepole or their experiences for them.
r/r: "and we're seeing other people-"
"i'm not seeing anyone."
"neither am i but i want to!"
"who?"
hahaha
r/r: i'm glad he wasn't building in time with the music there...that would have irritated me.
r/r: interesting to see (hear) this song repeated here.
j/d: whelp, here's a montage of him printing off and signing his letters, because, his handwriting is illegible and most companies don't read unsolicited mail from grade school children.
r/r: left-handed!  or maybe greenberg is, but stiller isn't?  that woudl explain the handwriting.
r/r: HAHAH
 j/d: meanwhile, at the vet, mauler needs to take lots of pills and roe needs to remember and florence is there with her great jacket. so much for not calling, roger - florence gives him the verbal smackdown.
r/r: "i'm here for mahler.  gina says i'm crazy to drive you anywhere."
haha i like badass take-no-shit florence.  i love how she is not backing down in the face of his conciliatory behaviour, and enabling more of his verbal/emotional abuse.
j/d: vets are EXPENSIVE.
j/d: phone rings - it's phillip, the brother, who got a weird message from florence that she's thinking of quitting - oh, shit florence is there - this movie should be called awkward city, awkward, united states of awkward.
r/r: haha, phillip's message for roger
"do you know how hard it is for me to find an assistant i actually like?  how is -- how is mahler, by the way."
j/d: now he's acting wounded and trying to get some food, and hang out with her, and she's not taking his shit. he's getting chicken through the window and apologizing for his abusive freakout - but drags her in and rescinds his apology. this isn't a good day for florence, and now forger claims she's transferring feelings about abuse, and neglect and sexual molestation (or whatever) upon poor florence, who needs to be somewhere with gina tomorrow at 7.
r/r: haha, roger...what are you even doing? shittiest apology ever!  why couldn't you just let it sit at i'm sorry?
r/r: i love florence.  she's absolutely right, that's not an apology! 
her facial reactions to his suppositions of abuse and molestation - this whole scene is hilarious!
r/r: "i was not molested!"
"i said whatever!"
j/d: cut to florence at home by herself, getting drunk with paul mccartney. 

fuuuck, now her phone is ringing, and it's that asshole roger.
r/r: every scene makes me like her more.  the wardrobe here, her character singing, drunken half-dancing!
r/r: "why are you calling me?  do you need some more granola?  or ice cream sandwiches?"
j/d: "why are you calling me? do you need some more granola or ice cream sandwiches?"
r/r: hahahahah
j/d: "hurt people hurt people!" so much about these fucking quotes from other people, though this time it's a singing coach, and roger wants to know so much about who she fucks.
r/r:  roger, her sex life is none of your business!  get a fucking clue!
j/d: she doesn't "want to sound dramatic" but, it's not his anyway, and blah blah and he used a condom, gigglesniggle.
r/r: oh shit.  "i've been pregnant this whole time." 
r/r: you have to ask for anasthesia with a d&c?  that's brutal!  i thought those were notoriously painful, as far as abortions go.
j/d: now roger offers to take florence to her abortion.
"how's that going to work," she asks. "am i going to drive you to take me?"
r/r: hahhaa florence!  you rule.
j/d: fastforward to hangovers and rock music in ivan's car, the abortion mobile… hey, win for pseudo-casual presentation of abortions without attached political missteps.
r/r: hear hear!  ivan too seems to take it all in stride.  how wonderful!
r/r: "it's your day."  lol!
r/r: "you're of value."
"i know that.  you don't have to say that."  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
j/d: don't tell people what other people tell you their shrinks tell them, roger.
r/r: OH MY COD GROSSSSSSSSS
THE HAMBURGER
RIGHT ON HER FRESHLY-SCRAPED UTERUS
ROGER YOU SUCKKKKK
j/d: lol, yeah. toss a burger on her, roger. that seems great. now they cant go till she pees.  apparently this is like, official abortion rules.
r/r: "you like me so much more than you think you do."
florence is the fucking best. 
j/d: roger wants to go and become a doctor, or vet… so do i .
r/r: so negative, even when discussing his own dreams and aspirations - he has to cut them down before he even gives himself a chance to feel anything good towards them!
j/d: i also want brazilian specialties.
r/r: aww, ivan really misses his family.  he's reaching out to you, bud!  listen to him!
j/d: florence is staying the night. 'did she pee?'
j/d: after awkward car banter, roger tells ivan he appreciates his friendship, then asks questions about how people talk shit about him, or criticize him… supposedly the answer is that he can't really make fun of himself, and lies about things he doesn't need to lie about, and doesn't make any effort, and is a bit of a prince.
r/r: haha, why even ask people this?  i love the way he opposes it - "that's incredible, i'm the funniest person i know." 
j/d: roger gets mad. "no effort? i'm making my brother's family a dog house. i had to bring my tools from new york. i had to check my bag. i normally do carry on. i have calluses!"
r/r: "no effort?"  he rambles about the doghouse...about calluses, despite the fact that he bristles as not being identified as a successful carpenter.
r/r:  "that's funny.  completely wrong, but funny."
j/d: back in the house, and there are girls. messy girls wearing few clothes drinking wine. ooh, it's like, roger's niece and her british friend? they're going on a 14 hour trip to australia in the morning. that's like 7 movies, according to roger.
r/r: hey, it's kate from the united states of tara/envy adams
(link)
j/d: fast-forward: "a party of 20-year-olds has suddenly happened in my house"
r/r: what a strange shift in dynamic - power dynamics as well as social ones.
j/d: roger calls ivan who is having family with his wife and kid family, not his parents family.
r/r: dun dun dun, ivan is with fabula!  disaster!  it's only...exactly what he wants, you know.
j/d: some cute girl is feeding mauler beer, and roger gives her shit. rightfully so - immune system all jacked or not, you don't just feed dogs beer, cute girl, let alone a stranger's dog…
j/d: roger walks through the party awkwardly after cleaning up the kitchen.
r/r: lolz dave franco!
j/d: davey franco grabs a picture of the wall to do some coke wall throwing small talk at roger who 'heard coke was in again' and wonders if it's okay to mix 'coke and zoloft.' this is all very unlike him apparently. he hates coke, "politically, and how it makes [him] feel, but when it's gone, [he] may have to kill one of these kids out of frustration."
r/r: "oh yeah, put on some uh korn"
j/d: roger gets up to change cds. franco wants korn. roger calls ivan and tells him he's high. some girls want ac/dc. he puts on duran duran.
r/r:  is it the australian girl (muriel?) who wants ac/dc?  that would be cute.  acadaca!
r/r: hey, it's that girl who wanted to beard marshall on us of tara!
j/d: 'i read an article, aren't you all fucking on the internet?' - woo, fucking on the internet.
r/r: "yeah, i think paige has a site. but it's more art than porn."
j/d: so, now kate who is/was on the united states of tara, and is his niece is giving him a neck massage as he questions the social impact of myspace profiles and how they affect how these people interact and engage j/d: he likes the coke, they laugh at him, he tells them they're mean because of their carpal tunnel and meanness - he wants to die before he meets them in a job interview, then goes on a fuck or fight rampage. that's dumb. 
r/r: his anthropological interactions here are reallllly interesting, tense and strange and layered and awkward.  the massage thing is a little weird, though.  its interesting, because he is definitely a person who is mean and insensitive..but i understand his fears and trepidation, the accesibility of experience without weight that can lead to having "not much."
j/d: "rich, you asshole!" he changed the music. it's not fucking korn - but it's not duran duran. now he's getting bullied, and there's something in the pool, and it's not mauler who is now getting fed some tasty ass pizza. at least mauler is happy again, or healthy. there's a dead thing in the pool. it looks like a dog to me. everyone is drunk and high and tripping out. roger more than any of them though, and he runs off as the music peaks and there's some french in the background.
r/r: whaat is going on in this scene with the dead animal in the pool!  so much this way that drugged-out discordant feelings of alienation leave roger practically hypnotized by the death of this interloper with whom he relates.  and the kids react by pretending to push him in, oblivious to/laughing at the intensity of his reaction. 
i like the music.
j/d: the dude from road trip shows up to tell roger he's sorry his dog has AIDS ("he doesn't have aids, it's an auto-immune disorder" - lol) then they smoke a joint, and shit gets trippier.  and eventually, ivan shows up, the good guy he is.
r/r:  "i'm sorry your dog has aids."
burn. i guess people don't know much about autoimmune disorders.  or about aids.
r/r: oh, ivan showed up!  he really cares about you, roger...he wants to share his good news! support him!
damn, roger is insufferably pretentious!  and high.
j/d: "is that pot?"
"yeah, you want a puff?"
"no, i quit that."
"ooohkay, man. ooohkay. okay."
r/r: ivan is so genuine, i'm so impressed by this rhys ifans (and pretty much everyone in this movie)
j/d:  huh, this roger guy is immature, and ivan is a grown up, and real and shit. they have some meaningful conversation, and now get angry about the record again… ivan wanted to deal, no roger is telling people what ivan doesn't want to know about himself, and then says he doesn't want to be in a band with him, and he was FUCKED UP all the time. but he had no idea it'd be their only offer… us musicians get record deals easily every few months, even more if you have that myspace and everything.
r/r: hahaha
r/r: THROWING IT DOWN
they're finally talking about it.
r/r:
r/r: when roger says "people," he means "me."
r/r: wow.  wow wow wow.  nice work, ben stiller.  goddamn. 
j/d: "florence told me you were in hospital."  there it is again, no goddamn articles!
r/r: "i know, i, i understand about those things.  we could have talked about it, maybe made each other feel better.  but instead we never talk about anything good.
'this is a small thing, and it's probably boring for you, but it would have been nice if you'd made an effort to know vic."
"who's vic?!"
"my son."
"oh victor!  i didn't recognize the diminuitive."  WORST REACTION.
j/d: "who's vic?!" diminutive or not, you're a douche, roger… and i wonder what america's deal is with movies about middle aged douches who we're supposed to sympathize with.
r/r: of course it's a letter - and yet, it's so much more organic and less constructed than any letters we see him shape previously.  he's actually speaking from a place of truth for himself, with relative lack of self-consciousness based on the fact that the voicemail allows him to soliloquize with her as his apostrophe.
j/d: oooh, good. now he's in a bedroom, and he's coming down, and he's writing a letter to florence - it's a voicemail. it's a voicemail letter about how he hates the world and wants to write a letter about it. florence is brave, brave. kids look up to her. kids used to look up to him too. he wanted to be an astronaut, but he can't even swim in a fucking pool. his brother's in vietnam, and they have the same parents, so it's not that. he loves phillip, but he's not supposed to be in his bed. he misses his mom. he misses phillip. he misses watching charlie sheen movies. he remembers things people say to people, but not who says it, and then boom! he remembers, hurt people hurt people hurt people hurt people. he and ivan have broken up, maybe. ooh, florence. he really likes you. love, roger… he signs it love roger… like this dude loves anything.
r/r: AHAHAHAH "it's kind of trite, but it stayed with me."
"ah man, that was you, like a few days ago"
oh my god, ron!  that was you that told me that! (link)
r/r: "i think ivan and i broke up."
r/r: haha, mahler feet!  what an adorable way to wake up.
j/d: he wakes up with the dog on him, calling the kids assholes - the house is a mess… the kids are dicks - the girls are smoking and drinking breakfast booze. they call him sunny - they could call me sunny.
r/r: "assholes."
"dicks."
j/d: they printed his letter about pakistan! in the paper! roger greenberg, hollywood ca. i don't want to read that. no sir, no not at all.
r/r: co-signed!
j/d: ha, "did you start an affair with phillip's assistant?"
r/r: i really like the dialogue between the two girls.  it feels very real, and i love how different they sound from florence.  it's rare to see divergent representations within a film.
r/r: and what a shock!  roger's finding a way to run away.  and being totally insensitive while he's at it.
j/d: oh, good. they've talked roger, the idiot who does nothing, into going to OZ with them.  fuck! what will they do about mauler? the random pool people who are upset about the pool mess and gonna go home (rock mixed race couples) will take care of mauler. shit - tell them about all the pills, write it down. WRITE IT DOWN.
r/r: yaaaaaay marlon and peggy, interracial couple!!  how did i not see that before?
j/d: he;s hurrying back to the car - they still have to get his ticket… they better not be flying american airlines.
r/r: ugh, truth.
j/d: fucking lily!
j/d: now the smoky hackie laughing girls discuss sunny looking at whales while they dive, cause he's not certified and doesn't swim.
j/d: "are overalls back in now, or am i just crazy?"
r/r: uh oh, he left his chapstick!
r/r: hey, look who's back!

j/d: one of those wind flappy guys and having forgotten his chopstick, and apparently needing to get someone from the hospital has sunny roger trying to get out of the rental car.
j/d: "you know, i can't go, i can't afford it. i just have to pick up my friend."
r/r: oh, the song again?  well, okay i guess.
j/d: roger leaves the comfort of kate from tara's rental car and stands on the street looking fucking crazy.
j/d: he and florence are now back at florence's through the magic of a cab. she needs insurance for the anaesthesia. she also needs phillip to come back so she can work more hours.
r/r: i like when he tucks her in and she moves her legs out of the blanket.  so much realistic, unaffected acting by her. 
j/d: roger's trying to take care of her, and asks if she gets the new york times? cause of his letter?
r/r: haha totally!  i missed that, but that so makes sense!  i thought he was just being condescending as usual.
j/d: he asks if she got his message, which is apparently a reassessment of wall st.
j/d: she's giving him the puppet now.
r/r: "i wasn't going to give it to you because i was pissed, but you can open it.  happy birthday, again.  now you have the set!  not that they're a set."
j/d: now he's going all jesus the carpenter to hang flo's nieces' art.
r/r: the dinosaur ruler!  i miss those.  even tho the dino renderings are no longer accurate.
j/d: make no mistake, he's a professional.
j/d: -he knows that she knows he was in a hospital, he's not hiding it. he doesn't let it define him.
j/d: "i'd had some to drink: -yea, bro - and smoke and snort… truth is good, right?
r/r: how refreshing!  a story where a woman changes and may even 'save' a man, but told in a way where she is humanized, dimensional, and honestly, far more interesting and vital and memorable than the title character.  it shows her being instrumental to his development, but it does so without diminishing her.  i suppose they needed to end it on a shot of him watching her, but i would have much preferred them closing with a shot of her watching him as she listens to his recorded voice.  plus it would have given more credence to my theory that this movie should be called 'florence,' or possibly marr. 
maarrrrr?...everything in this game is *shrug* silly. (link)
j/d: …well, that's a little hokey for a final piece of dialogue, but i'll take it. it sort of fits in with the movie, i guess. except, that line doesn't feature an overbearing dicknose of a main character who, at the very least, verbally abuses everyone around him, including his supposed love interest under the premise of mental illness,  self-loathing and anxiety? i mean, that's cool. we're all a little grumpy when we're feeling down i guess, but most usually try not to confuse and berate women 20 years their junior for purpose sexual conquest. i mean, i'm not saying greenberg's the worst  person ever - he's just an asshole. and greenberg? well that's a movie about an asshole who's got a cool friend who he dicks over because of an irrational dislike for the good folks at artist and repetoire, and a really sweet girl(friend?) that he treats like trash while writing pissy letters to mostly real companies (the jury's out on hollywood pet taxi) . oh, and there's a dog
r/r: oh..the song again?  i'm kind of...you could stop that maybe.  but all in all, this is one of my favourite movies, and florence has definitely cemented a place on my list of favourite women characters in film.

our verdict?
...pretty much a movie!


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