Sundance Film Review: ‘Greener Grass’

Variety | 1/29/2019 | Peter Debruge
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What would it take to make you happy: A different house? A different wife? Or maybe an altogether different life? Before you go coveting your neighbor’s fill-in-the-blank, you owe it to yourself to watch “Greener Grass,” an odd and wonderfully upbeat absurdist take on the American dream from improv comedians turned independent filmmakers Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, who’ve imagined an upper-middle-class community where domestic bliss always seems to be just one lifestyle tweak away.

Just a sample of what that means: In the opening scene, a pair of soccer moms sit chatting on the sidelines of their sons’ match. “Oh, my gosh, I didn’t even notice. You have a new baby!” Lisa Wetbottom (Luebbe) notes appreciatively, to which her friend Jill Davies (DeBoer) beams with pride, revealing ultra-white teeth wired with braces (everyone in “Greener Grass” wears braces, because there’s always room for improvement). “Do you want her? She’s great,” Jill says, and cheerily proceeds to hand her baby over to Lisa — for keeps.

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“Greener Grass” is that kind of movie, as if a movie quite like this has ever existed before. It’s a square peg in a sea of round holes, and the most pleasant surprise of an otherwise mostly predictable Sundance Film Festival, where DeBoer and Luebbe’s future cult favorite — a fate that seems all but guaranteed for this weird and wonderful comedy of manners — was counter-intuitively tucked away in the Midnight section, and misleadingly represented by a closeup of two mouths (and two sets of braces) still connected by a string of saliva. A word to the squeamish: That shot never appears in the film, although it’s pretty funny to imagine it once you’ve seen the scene, in which two husbands, dorkily dressed in gingham shirts and matching pastel shorts, mistakenly make out with one...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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