Seeing Greener Grass at the Chicago Critics Film Festival was my third time seeing the film. The first two times I saw it was at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where I left both screenings feeling like I liked the movie, but was little put off at some points. Seeing it for a third time changed my opinion quite a bit, as I now find Greener Grass a delirious black comedy perfect for the midnight crowd.
Describing the plot of Greener Grass is slightly complicated, but I’ll do my best. In this brightly colored, idyllic suburban neighborhood where all adults wear braces, soccer moms and dads are continuously competing with each other to portray the perfect family and perfect life. Content with her perfect life, Jill (Jocelyn DeBoer) gives her newborn child to her best friend Lisa (Dawn Luebbe), who seems unsatisfied with her life and family. This causes a string of bizarre events to occur in Jill’s life, breaking up her perfect world.
This movie is incredibly bizarre and weird and is one where you have to leave all plausibility at the door and just let everything play out. Whether it’s the braces on all the adults, the way everyone speaks to one another, the outfits, the golf carts, or some of the wild events that happen, you will be laughing your ass off if you let it all happen. There is a bit with a soccer ball that is genuinely one of the funniest things I have seen in a film in years. As the movie went on, the bit got funnier. I’m laughing just typing about it.
But even through its weirdness, the film still takes a look at the suburban lifestyle in America and the pettiness of the competition between families, which is shockingly real coming from somebody who grew up in the suburbs. Couple this with the gorgeous sets, costumes, and cinematography, and you have a film that would slap a twisted smile on David Lynch’s face.
Greener Grass is a perfect midnight movie. From the dialog, to the dry comedy, to the subplot of a killer running loose in the neighborhood, everything about this movie requires you to see it late at night with a few adult beverages.
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