Greener Grass Review
By Liselotte Vanophem
‘The grass is always greener on the other side’. That’s what they say, isn’t it? You might have the feeling that other people have a much nicer house, a more loving family or a fancier car.
Well, in the world created by writers/director Jocelyn DeBoer (“ Thunder Road “, “5 to 7”) and Dawn Luebbe (“Gary Saves the Graveyard”, “Consti2tion”) that’s what it’s all about.
After introducing us to this colourful and funny city during their short film “Greener Grass” in 2015, they now decided to spend more time in it during the full-length feature.
We just still don’t know whether this movie is brilliant, absurd or something in between. Let us take you to that world so you that you can decide for yourself.
Jill (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Lisa (Dawn Luebbe), the soccer mums “watching” their kids playing the weekly soccer game, are catching up and gossiping about the latest things happening in town.
Whether it’s about the murder of a local girl, how their kids are doing at school or what they think about the other mums. This time they’re also talking about the cute baby of Jill.
Lisa is totally in love with her so Jill decides to give up her baby to Lisa. Still not sure why but it was certainly the worst decision of her life. While Lisa now has an extra family member, she’s not entirely happy with her life.
She’s jealous of Jill and her husband Nick (Beck Bennett) as they seem to be the perfect couple. They love each other and show affection both in and outside the bedroom. However, tables are about to turn very soon.
The mums don’t only want to be the best but they also want their children to be superior to other kids. It’s all about being able to brag. Sadly, for Jill, there won’t be much of that as her son is not the next Mozart, Ronaldo or Picasso.
For Lisa on the other hand, it all goes very well: She’s extremely happy with her new baby and she’s expecting another one (that won’t be the ordinary baby, don’t say we didn’t warn you).
Sadly she has some problems with her husband Dennis (Neil Casey) as they seem to be growing apart while their family is becoming bigger. Who will be the queen of the neighbourhood and who will have to be happy with being the second best?
“Greener Grass” is certainly all about competing mums, a multi-coloured and unusual town and the need to turn children into the next musical prodigy or successful soccer player.
Being accepted and praised is all they care about. It probably sounds like a twisted episode of “Desperate Housewives” and we see the similarities between that and “Greener Grass”.
What instantly catch your attention when watching “Greener Grass” are the colours. It gives you an instantly dreamy and fairy tale vibe and there are the stereotypical colours: Pink for the girls and blue for the boys.
The stereotypes fade away a little bit during the film but that doesn’t mean that everything is now black and white. You will see each colour of the rainbow: yellow, orange and also green cause the grass is always… well, you know how it goes.
However, there where is light, there’s also darkness. The dark side of the film is mostly created by the storyline itself. While this film is about friendship, love, and family, there’s still a place for jealousy, rudeness, and nasty comments.
“Greener Grass” is also filled with the sinister element of who has murdered the local town girl. The murderer is still out there and is already stalking his or her next victim. During those threatening scenes, the vibrant tints make room for darker ones.
DeBoer and Luebbe didn’t only direct and write the film but, as you already noticed, they also star in it. They worked together on the short film as well and it clear that they bonded very well over that as the chemistry is top-notch between them.
DeBoer brings out the motherly-love, caring friendships and style of fashion but also the angst, anxiety, and doubts of her character delightfully to the screen. Despite being a lot smaller than Luebbe, they are both on the same acting level.
Lisa is the more classy, chique and steady but also the more hard and selfish one of the two and Luebbe is a real joy to watch her bringing all those different character traits to life.
As the significant others of Jill and Lisa, we see the respectively Bennett (“Saturday Night Live (TV)”, “Plus One”) and Casey (“A Futile and Stupid Gesture”, “Ghostbusters”). Both are them are wonderful as the repressed, loyal but at the same time also headstrong and selfish husbands.
“Greener Grass” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and not so long ago it got its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival. It’s no surprise that Raindance founder Elliot Grove and his team programmed this one-of-a-kind movie during their festival.
Next time you get the chance to watch this film, which will be around the 22nd of November when it’s released in the UK, you should go and see it. Not sure whether you will find “Greener Grass” unique or strange but you will enjoy this incredibly vivid, funny, witty and clever film, led by two strong and hilarious women.
Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com on September 30, 2019.