It isn’t often that the trailer to a movie looks so bizarre that I feel the need to hunt it down and watch it. When I got the email from IFC Midnight announcing a press screening in LA, with a trailer for Greener Grass, I immediately contacted them and asked for a link to the screener, because I KNEW that I had to see this movie. Boy was I right, this is like a little slice of perfect for me.
For those of you who don’t know, I love strange things (if you don’t know that you need to listen to the show more). I like a movie that will challenge my idea of what art can be, that defies the conventions of traditional storytelling, or that takes me to a really dark place. Last year my favorite movie was Mandy, a horror romp with a two-minute Nick Cage cry session in the middle of it and a trip on demon LSD. What is not to love?! This year my favorite film may end up being the truly bonkers Greener Grass (it is currently a toss up between this and Midsommar).
The premise of this film is simple enough on it’s face. Soccer moms Jill (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Lisa (Dawn Luebbe) are friendly rivals in a bizarre community that is motivated solely by attaining a strange form of “late stage capitalist perfection”. They wear braces on their perfect teeth, arrive at soccer with perfect looking children in perfectly clean clothes, they have such perfect and disposable husbands that they can be mistaken for each other. The edges of that perfection holds some dark secrets though.
There is a price to pay for constantly trying to keep up, and one up, the Jones’. Their passive aggressive kindness with each other drives them into more and more bizarre situations, and those situations START with Jill giving Lisa her newborn, just because Lisa expressed a desire to have another child. Let’s just say this movie gets really weird. In all of that strangeness Jill sees the cracks in the society that she is living in and starts to look for a way out. Even with her addled mind she still sees that there is something unhealthy going on, and she is looking for an escape.
This movie goes a lot of places with children that turn into dogs, a husband obsessed with how clean the pool water is, a yoga teacher that is also a giallo style killer, and a brief escape to the real world that culminates in a kidnapping. Technically those are all spoilers, but piecing together where and how all of those things connect would probably take a flow chart, so I’m not too worried about it. This movie is one of a very few movies this year that got me to focus solely on the film and not my phone, that made me laugh out loud, and made me really think about what the director was trying to say. Do yourself a favor and dive into the deep end of the pool to check out Greener Grass!