In the very simplest of terms, Ben Stiller is pulling what movie buffs would call a 'Punch-Drunk Love' or a 'Stranger Than Fiction' with his latest film, 'Greenberg.'

Like Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell in those two films, the funnyman famous for his work in broad comedy ('There's Something About Mary,' 'Meet the Parents,' 'Tropic Thunder,' etc) flexes serious dramatic chops as Roger Greenberg, a failed musician-turned-carpenter who moves from New York to L.A. to house sit for his brother shortly after suffering a nervous breakdown and spending time in a mental institution.

The film, written and directed by Noah Baumbach ('Squid and the Whale'), marks a career-best performance by Stiller, who imbues the title character with convincing ambiguity and instability. He's a character you feel uneasy watching, whether engaged in the mundane (regularly writing letters of complaint to Starbucks and other companies) or the momentous (continually screwing up his budding relationship with his brother's assistant, played by Greta Gerwig).
categories Interviews