The last time I watched a Noah Baumbach movie was with this girl I was dating who wasn’t that into me. One time we got really drunk and she said, “tonight is the night I’m going to invite you into my bed.” Ahh yes, I drunkenly thought to myself. An invitation into the bed. You are cordially invited, sir. Phil Collins “No Jacket Required” invited. Aaand absolutely nothing happened. I slept in my rumpled clothes. The next morning I caught a glimpse of her underwear clad butt Scarlett-Johansson-lying-on-her-side-in-the-opening-scene-of-Lost–in–Translation-style and thought, ‘well, that’s the last I’ll see of that.’ Then I walked home hungover and sad. Like Phil Collins “I Wish it Would Rain Down” sad.
So Greenberg (Ben Stiller) had a nervous breakdown and now he gets to stay in his brother’s really nice house, walk his brother’s big friendly dog and have sex with his brother’s improbably sexy young assistant who brings him whiskey and ice cream. Oh no, Greenberg! How will you manage?!
First of all, Greenberg is supposed to be facing the perils of aging, but he’s still a really good looking guy with all his hair. He doesn’t have a potbelly. He’s got all his cool hair. Looks to me like he won the middle aged lottery. Second of all, he talks all this shit to this beautiful girl and she still loves him and sleeps with him. Third of all, he’s supposed to have just gotten out of a mental institution but it must have been the most laid back insane asylum ever. Maybe he overheard someone at the Apple Store say, “it’s really crazy in here today” and took it literally.
Yesterday in the Apple Store I went to pick up a repaired iMac for my office and got halfway to my car when I realized they forgot to give me the power cable. So I went back in and said, “You forgot to give me my power cable!” This greasy haired dude with giant holes in the lobes of his ears who wanted nothing more than to escape me and my cable was all “well you can wait in line at the genius bar” and I said, “Hey- I’m not interested in waiting in line for something YOU forgot to give me.” So he went in the back and brought me a cable and I got back to the office and found the old cable which had been there the whole time, so now I’m going to take the extra cable and plant it in the ground and hope another iMac grows there. Or maybe a beanstalk that takes you up to the Apple Store that giants use.
But I have to admit Greenberg really hit home for me. I’m a grown man with adult friends who are having children and getting married as I while the days away playing video games and wearing t-shirts. I’m also notorious for refusing to drive anywhere, and wouldn’t you know it Greenberg has his friends drive him around everywhere. You might not get much out of it, but Greenberg for me was like looking ten years in the future if I don’t get my act together.
Unless that cable blossoms into a tree that grows Apple products. Then I’ll be set for life. I imagine Steve Jobs hanging out underneath it in a shining white toga. “Jason,” he says, “tonight is the night I’m going to invite you into my bed.” Nooooooo!