Ben Stiller’s pitch perfect line readings reveal the excellent writing of the script. His performance, as well as those of Rhys Ifans and Greta Gerwig, are consistently just right. There is also a remarkable acting job from a dog who it turns out is the most lovable character in the movie.
The movie dares us to warm up to the narcissistic title character. He thinks he is having a party when he serves guac and chips and creamsicles as the refreshments (wait, I think this might catch on). It is hard to believe that the charming Florence played by Greta Gerwig would find anything worth pursuing in this Greenberg who acts weirdly wrong every time he sees her. I wanted to protect her from the boorishness of a man who never grew up (he turns 41 in the movie). Besides he is petulant and crabby. Even, so his concerns are still oddly worth thinking about. I agree with his assessment of Starbucks. And I stuck around to see if the dog would be okay.