Usually, if a film has bad performances, you can't care about the characters because you'll always see the actor obscuring their role. Greenberg turns that problem on its head by having great performances for characters you could not care less about. Unless you have lived something in your life that relates to a character in the movie, then you will simply find these people and their problems irritating. Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, and Rhys Ifans make you believe their characters are real people who are a chore to spend two hours with.
Roger Greenberg (Stiller) is staying at his brother's Los Angeles home after a stint in a mental institution. He spends his time writing complaint letters and being afraid of the neighbors who are allowed to use the pool. While living in the house, he meets the nanny, Florence (Gerwig), who spends her off-time having meaningless sex. Let me pause right here to say that Gerwig sold me that the character was sad and lost instead of simply being a slut. Greenberg's only friend is Ivan (Ifans), a former bandmate from his younger days. Roger also goes after his old flame Beth (Jennifer Jason Leigh) even though it's clear she now has no interest in him and never will.
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