IFC Midnight always ends up securing a place in my yearly top movie lists. New comedy movies hardly ever rank. I watched Greener Grass trying to knock over as many films from their catalog as I could before 2019 is over. This film is special. You should watch it.
Be fooled by the IFC Midnight branding, this film is not overt like any of it’s other more insidious films. Sure there is a murder within the storyline, but it’s only utilized as a reference point. Even the humor is perfectly above the belt.
Greener Grass’s main stars are also the writers and directors of this offbeat and nutty comedy. They are suitably likable as the best and worst of friends. Even the way in which they’ve decided to construct the delivery of the narrative, it’s perfectly in tune with overall tonal crack-pipe dialogue.
Write-directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe are Jill and Lisa respectively. Both wear braces over perfectly straight teeth. The civility they offer to one another can only be rivaled by something akin to a Stepford Wives mentality.
If you’ve seen or heard of ‘dance moms’ or in this case, ‘soccer moms’ then you may know what it’s like to feel the competitive stare of a friend or another mom.
‘Dance moms’ are notorious for pulling out all stops when it comes to looking like they have it all together. Their kid is the best kid, their life is the best life, their way is the best way. Even if it’s unscrupulous and deceptive. Competitive friends are also commonplace. Maybe you are one of them. Perhaps you look at your circle of friends and think Tiffany is the bee’s knees of what your life should look like if only you had better clothes, better-behaved children, a more handsome partner. Perhaps you strive to portray the shiniest outer shell even though life is crappy sometimes. This film intends to test that theory out tenfold. Is the grass greener without the house, the pool or, the child that pees on the furniture?
Not all comedy movies are made the same and Greener Grass is weird but emphatically clever. The moment it finished, I couldn’t decide if I had understood it all let alone enjoyed it. However, the following day, I found compelled to tell people I had seen it. I mentioned it to people online. And now I’m flinging around one-liners and relating a lot of its themes into my everyday life. It’s that darn good. Also, it’s that darn unique and I can’t wait to watch it again.
The story starts in what I can only describe as an alternate reality of sorts. Everything within this made-up suburban universe is trapped under the weight of perceived perfection and one-up-man-ship. The judgment of others is high on the playlist and planted as a firm subtext throughout the whole film. The color palette is insanely bright. Pastels and neons smear everything. Societal pressures and mishaps are blatantly on display at every turn. Manners, children, behavior, and status are all woven into the threads of two couples and their capacity to outdo each other.
Trailers VS Clips
Rather than explain the best parts of this memorable movie, the full trailer (one of my pet hates) includes many of them. It’s also likely to not convince you to see this. So instead, here’s a clip that highlights something I find personally relatable. And hilarious because kids are that random. Prior to the scene featured below, Julian and his dad are playing catch, and instead of catching the ball, Julian decides to be a statue and the ball, of course, hits him. If that’s not enough to convince you to give this a shot, I tried.
Overall, I loved this though, even if it does occasionally get sillier and weirder than I expected. Perhaps too silly for some, but in context, entirely appropriate.
I give Greener Grass
4 Twilsons out of 5
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