(2010) Noah Baumbach. BAM.

As Florence drives along Sunset, either listening to Steve Miller Band or not (either way Steve Miller is applied to the soundtrack) she acts as if she is being watched, with a sort of fake nonchalance in the everyday, the whatevs glancing and driving.  Her eyes consistently get caught moving up to the billboards passing along, very L.A., to self-conscious of being "random," which is often painfully mistaken for "natural," as if people are staring at you, and you pretend you don't care.

Florence is spacey but sincere, whether giving gifts of stick-hand puppets or forcing herself to let loose and dance to "Uncle Albert."  Just because Florence doesn't know Karen Dalton or Albert Hammond, that doesn't mean she might not know Paul McCartney or Steve Miller. At one point, Greenberg finds a John Mayer CD in her car.  Greenberg was in a band, and rejected a big record deal rather than "sell out" - yet throughout most of the movie he is seen to wear a Steve Winwood t-shirt, from Winwood's cheesiest period, the mid-80s. If it is not an ironic gesture, by either the director Noah Baumbach, or the character Greenberg himself, in reference to the era of his coming of age, it at least might demonstrate that Greenberg doesn't care about the way he dresses anymore.

Florence believes she is being all open and experimental in her engagement of Greenberg's cranks, until it causes him to acerbically call her out, in a broken jumble of psychobabble. Still, she handles it without breaking down, as might a woman with masochistic fantasies.  And so Greenberg is drawn to her, wonders how she is not a type outside his ken. She is a big girl, "not fat" notes Greenberg, in dickhead mode, and he finds her sexy, the earth girl.

At a threshold of a fangling, new awareness, Greenberg invokes the scene in Wall Street, when Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox broods over the skyline of 1980s Manhattan from the deck of his East Side penthouse, and asks "Who am I?" Back then, impressionable but know-it-all Greenberg thought that was dorky. Now he gets it.

No comments:

Post a Comment