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A personal assistant to the Greenberg family finds herself along when the family takes an extended trip abroad. She checks in on the family dog and Mr. Greenberg's bother who is house sitting. The two begin to spend time together and start a friendship.
Drama Comedy - This is a somewhat dark and very talky independent comedy. Ben
Stiller plays a change of pace abrasive role here. Fans of Jennifer
Jason Leigh may be disappointed by her limited screen time.
Constant language and some sexual content make the film
inappropriate for kids, who wouldn't be interested anyhow.
USA TodayFull Review Very Good It may not appeal to those seeking escape or non-stop action. But for those looking for realistic, complex characters coping with believable emotional hurdles, this is an unexpected gem.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring singer, is struggling to find her place in the
world. She works as a personal assistant to the Greenberg family, beginning and ending
each day tending to other people's needs. In sharp contrast to the Greenbergs' bustling
life in their elegant Hollywood Hills home, Florence lives alone in a tiny studio
apartment and sings at open-mike nights.
When Phillip Greenberg (Chris Messina) takes his wife and children on an extended trip
abroad, Florence is suddenly left more to her own devices. She makes the occasional visit
to their home to check up on the family's dog Mahler, and look in on Phillip's brother
Roger (Ben Stiller), who has come to L.A. to housesit.
Single and fortyish, Greenberg is intelligent, witty, sharp-tongued – and, like Florence,
something of a lost soul; he is at a crossroads in his life. He has been working as a
carpenter in New York after an early career as a musician in L.A. petered out. Greenberg
claims to be "doing nothing” and his most tangible projects include drafting letters of
complaint and building a doghouse for Mahler. Roger tries to reconnect with friend and
former bandmate Ivan (Rhys Ifans) and old flame Beth (Jennifer Jason Leigh), but
they've moved on with their lives while Greenberg has been stuck treading water. In
trying to restart his life, Greenberg finds that times have changed and old friends aren't
necessarily still best friends.
After years of living in New York City, Greenberg doesn't drive and finds himself
stranded at his brother's house. His vulnerability immediately endears him to Florence,
who helps him navigate Los Angeles and take care of Mahler. What begins as a courtesy
to her employer develops into a charmingly eccentric and unexpectedly significant
connection. As Greenberg discovers there is only so much "nothing” you can do, the
awkward beauty of what he builds with Florence starts to look more and more like a
reason to be happy.