"Protagonist, Story and Worldview Adrift"
What You Need To Know:
The characters and dialogue in GREENBERG are well written, but the plot’s structure drifts in and out of focus. Florence herself is a character at a crossroads. Eventually, she learns she’s become pregnant from her previous boyfriend and gets an abortion. Overall, therefore, despite a few interesting insights, the movie’s pagan, feminist, pro-abortion worldview, mixed with its strong foul language, sexual content and explicit nudity, leads to an abhorrent result.
(PaPaPa, FeFeFe, HH, C, B, LLL, V, SSS, NN, AA, DD, MMM) Very strong pagan worldview with very strong feminist content that’s ultimately pro-abortion with a strong humanist undertone, plus some Christian, biblical allusions in a song sung by the female lead character that seem to comment on what’s happening in the movie but which are not developed further or integrated into the rest of the scenes, so they ultimately become pointless; at least 52 mostly strong obscenities, three strong profanities using Jesus, and three light profanities; light fighting in one scene; very strong sexual content includes implied and depicted promiscuity, implied fornication in one scene, depicted oral sex in one scene, depicted fornication in another scene, brief sexual discussion, and woman learns she’s pregnant and gets an abortion; shots of upper female nudity in two or three scenes and some upper male nudity; alcohol use and slight drunkenness; smoking and cocaine use depicted; and, lying, aimless people, misplaced anger, vicious sarcasm, and narcissism that is, however, ultimately rebuked.
GREENBERG stars Ben Stiller as Roger Greenberg, a New York carpenter turning 40 who comes to his brother’s house in Los Angeles to housesit. When he was a young man, Roger made a decision that unexpectedly ended his musical career in a rock and roll band. Now, Roger is at a crossroads in his life, stopping everything in order to “do nothing” but chill out in L.A. for a while.
In L.A., Roger tries to reconnect with former bandmate Ivan. Meanwhile, he starts an on-again, off-again affair with his brother’s personal assistant, Florence, a young aspiring singer. They grow closer when the brother’s family dog gets ill. The age difference between them keeps driving Roger away, however, as does his desire to get back together with an old girlfriend, who’s recently divorced. The only problem is, the old girlfriend wants nothing to do with Roger, but Florence truly enjoys his company.
The characters and dialogue in GREENBERG are well written, but the plot’s cohesion and structure drifts in and out of focus. Thus, movie seems to lack narrative drive.
Also, Florence herself is a character who’s at a crossroads. Before she meets Roger, she has a one-night stand with one young man. Then, Florence learns that she’s been pregnant because of her affair with her most recent long-time boyfriend. This turn of events leads to an abortion, an event that is handled in a favorable manner, though not in a strident way.
What is most interesting in the movie’s abortion scenes, however, is how much radical, pro-abortion feminism has perverted and emasculated the male species in America, not just females. Roger and his friend Ivan treat Florence’s decision to get an abortion in a matter-of-fact, nonchalant, meek manner that shows the subservient, obsequious quality of today’s masculinity. Of course, as others have noted, this has been the purpose all along among the Neo-Marxists and radical feminists, both the female leaders and the male leaders, who took over the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Needless to say, this “Sexual Revolution” has also been a disaster for women as well as men, including women and men in “minority” communities in the inner city. And, it has been a disaster for God’s Church and God’s people.
Overall, therefore, despite a few insights about modern life, human nature and personal ambition, the pagan, feminist, pro-abortion worldview in GREENBERG, mixed with the movie’s strong foul language, sexual content and nudity, leads to an abhorrent result. GREENBERG is not a strident leftist movie. It has other things besides politics on its mind. Nevertheless, it reflects the moral corruption, paganism and emptiness that infect the leftist worldview of modern humanism, which is basically secular and anti-theistic, not merely a-theistic.