Random Scenes: Greenberg

Thursday, April 8, 2010 3:28 PM By Simon

Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a bit, seeing as how this is still in theatres and all, but I didn't like my review of the movie at all, and I haven't been nearly obnoxious and philosophical about a film as I usually am, so yeah. This is the byproduct of weeks of braindead TV-watching and Health class. Don't bite me.

I direct you, people who've seen Greenberg, to the party scene. You know, the anticlimatic climax thing, the rise in action of an actionless film, etc. It's the one where Greenberg is on coke, talking to a group of twenty-somethings who have inexplicably ended up at his brother's house for a party. Here, he sits on a couch among these people twenty years younger than him, and you see the differences between them.

Now, I'm not proud of my general generation. I'm not proud of the way we/they were coddled and treated more as pawns in the latest political cause or social scare than people. I'm not proud that we ended up cocky little bastards. We suck. I get it, and I sympathize.

That being said, it is apparent in this scene that the older generation is no great shit either. The group, the back and forth between Greenberg and the gang of marauding hipsters that surround him. He's high on coke, they're high on 'life', both are so up their own asses they don't realize they're being mocked, patronised, and treated like dicks. Most obviously, you see the grinning little shitheads, led by James Franco brother Dave, encouraging his increasingly cynical ranting with superior, 'check this guy out' grins, fueling his trailer-friendly speech on the flaws in their generation with frequent protests to his music choice (I forget what the band he picked was, but Dave Franco kept telling him to put Korn on).

But, less obvious, I think, is the more blatant (if that makes sense) criticisms of them. They are so caught up in themselves, they don't ntoice that Greenberg is basically calling them affluent pussies, arogant pricks. This is the difference between the two, perhaps another reason neither catches on: one was rasied to be loud and obvious and plain about their insults, the 'just say it' school of childrearing, gotta love the sixties. The other, the conservative eighties/nineties, where we must be politically correct, preserve feelings. but we also must think of the children! So, this generation was fed, as Greenberg says, Baby Mozart and ADD and 'behavioural medication'. We are the product of the new age, and the psuedo-intellectual meets borderline-illiterate internet emergence. Therefore, we are more sly about our mocking, constantly amused, a superiority complex over the 'stupider' generation, the ones who weren't as enlightened as them, not even close.

This is the clash of the binary decades, a highlight of the worst traits of both. This is the one scene where you root for Greenberg, because compared to the people of Now, he is downright likable. Does this group represent the entirety of Generation Whatever (at last count, we were Y. But I don't know when that was taken)? No. And maybe they are Boaumbach's cyncism bleeding speaking. But, to me, this is the most realistic depiction of Us in film I've seen.

Good day to you.


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