Cult Classics: Greener Grass

greener grass index
Written, directed and starring UCB’s Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like Greener Grass, and I’m an old, old man who really should be taken up to a farm upstate and shot, such is my age. A satire on competitive suburban parents, it’s a brightly lit absurdist slice of madness, and an incredibly bizarre yet funny one at that.

To give you an idea as to how insane a film this is, it starts with the two main female leads Jill and Lisa (DeBoer and Luebbe, both superb throughout) watching their kids play soccer, and casually talking about the fact that Lisa hadn’t even noticed that her best friend Jill has a new baby. And then Jill suggests that Lisa could have her if she wants, she does, and hey, that’s that, the kid swaps parents without anyone seeming to care.

That’s one of the less strange elements of the film as well which includes all of the characters always travelling around in golf buggies, one of which appears to be able to talk, Jill’s husband Nick (Beck Bennett, also really great) obsessively drinking swimming pool water, a school teacher (played majestically by The Good Place’s D’Arcy Carden) making the kids sing about her murderous mother, one of the characters shoving a football up her dress and instantly persuading others that she’s heavily pregnant, and one major incident which is beautifully surreal and incredibly funny, but which I won’t spoil here because I’m very occasionally nice like that.

There’s not exactly a strong narrative as we just follow their lives Jill and Lisa and their husbands, kids and friends, but that’s not in any way to the film’s detriment. There are vague bits of story along the way too, like Jill slowly regretting giving away her child, and what happens to Jill’s son plays a big part, but most of the time it’s just a pretty vicious and / or strange take on the vapid and vacuous lives of these suburban milquetoast idiots.

It is one of those kind of films which I could completely understand someone hating, if this style of humour doesn’t click with you then it’s a film you’ll probably find tedious in the extreme (or at least some of the imdb reviews suggest that, anyhow), but if you’re fond of the weird and wonderful, and like a mixture of satire, absurdism and outright silliness, then Greener Grass deserves both your attention and your love.

★★★★

Alex Finch.
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