A fortysomething New Yorker in the throes of a midlife crisis falls for his brother's assistant while house-sitting for his sibling in Los Angeles. Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is single and jobless. He's at a crucial crossroads in life when his successful family-man brother summons him to Los Angeles to housesit for six weeks. Recognizing the opportunity to turn over a new leaf in a new city, Greenberg reaches out to his former bandmate Ivan (Rhys Ifans) and discovers that some old wounds aren't so quick to heal. When Greenberg meets his brother's pretty assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig), a kindred spirit who longs to become a singer, he vows not to become too attached. But the more time Greenberg spends with Florence the more he begins to wonder whether he might have finally made a connection worth keeping. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Brie Larson co-star in a climacteric comedy drama from Oscar-nominated writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding).
Interview with Ben Stiller
So how would you describe Roger Greenberg?
BS: He's somebody you don't often see in movies. Which is a guy who's obviously flawed, but is really trying to do the best he can in life. And I think a lot of us can identify with that daily struggle, of just trying to get through the day, with your ego intact and your sense of self.
And then having to deal with the thousands of things that chip away at you in life, as you're trying to make your way. And I think there's really something noble in that. Because I felt this character was really courageous, in just trying to get through his life, you know? And trying face himself. And that's a scary thing.
You know, there are a lot of people in my life, who have not been as fortunate as myself in having any sort of material success, or acknowledgement of what they do. But they're still very talented. People who have a lot to offer, but have just not been lucky enough to have that success.
It's not life and death struggles like, you know, having to fight a dragon, or what you see in movies all the time. It's just people trying to get through life. And deal with their choices, and the mistakes they've made in their life. And then to still go forward. And there are parts of that in people I know, and parts in myself.Read the full interview here.