By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
While Too Many Cooks got most of the press, Adult Swim has been crafting a very distinct brand of satirical, brash, non-sequitur, often violent, and even disgusting humor for many years.
We’ve been doing this for as long as some of you have been alive.
Greener Grass begins with a suburban soccer game where the mother of one immediately off-putting young boy doubles down and off-handedly gifts her baby girl to her best friend after she compliments her. She becomes ever more of a pushover, and the film ever more of an oddity from there.
Greener Grass hews very close to that brand of humor, but put to the service of a feminist tale (by perspective, not protagonist) wrapped up in a bizarre day-glo, hyper-exaggerated suburbia parable. Yes, this film is full of bugfuck twists that I loved, which are so off their damn rocker it’s hard not to approve, and there are tons of weird, world-building touches, like how everyone drives golf carts instead of cars even on the streets, the spartan “big concert” at the kid’ school, the look on Dawn’s face when it’s clear her kid isn’t as good at math and didn’t get in the “advanced program”, the way the kid goes absolutely feral after watching the “violent programming” Kids with Knives after his dad falls asleep on the couch. It’s all gold. The child actors here unexpectedly steal the show, especially this weird fucker.
Technically, the right picture.
All of the actors buy in fully, with ringers like Beck Bennett, Janicza Bravo (whose Lemon was a great film in this register, too), D’Arcy Carden, and all embodying this arch and bizarre tone to a tee. And in the end, our nowhere near triumphant lead Jill’s (Jocelyn DeBoer) arc even delivers some pretty effective social commentary in the well-worn space of “suburban conformity is bad”.
There’s definitely some of that Adult Swim weirdness for weirdness’s sake at play here. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, and even those that like it may find a few gritty dregs that are less welcome.
Ehhh, no thanks.
This film feels long even at an hour and a half- there’s only so much time you can spend at this register. This is probably why pretty much all the Adult Swim shows of this ilk are 30 minute, bite sized chunks- it’s assaultive, which is of course very much the point.
Greener Grass hides some slyly effective social allegory in a candy-colored, overlit suburban nightmare that’s also a damn funny comedy.
Greener Grass (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for audible mouth breathing
Take a Drink: for every new TV show we see
Take a Drink: every time xx says “sorry”
Take a Drink: any time a child is belligerent or bizarre
Do a Shot: for child swaps and transformations