Greener Grass is an absurdist suburban satire written and directed by Upright Citizens Brigade alumnae Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, populated with like-minded sketch-and-improv workhorses (including SNL’s Beck Bennett), everyone clearly having a good time doing their weird things. It’s set in a sunny, artificial, candy-colored world with manicured lawns and interchangeable husbands (I mean that literally) and the plot, such as it is, concerns one of the housewives giving her baby away to her best friend on a whim and then having second thoughts.
The humor is arch and surreal, with daft touches like all the adults in town wearing braces but the movie never mentioning it. Characters have names like Marriott, Citronella, Lisa Wetbottom, and the twins, Dan and Rostaffano. One family’s young son, a disappointment in the athletic department, turns into a dog, finally making his father happy. A schoolteacher named Miss Human (D’arcy Carden) sings her class a folk song about her mother, who murdered her family. There is also this exchange:
MOM: It’s a school night.
BOY: You’re a school!
DAD: Julian! Your mother is not a school!
BOY: (mocking) “I’m Mom. I’m full of classrooms. So many clocks in me!”
For comparison’s sake, this film isn’t as deliberately off-putting or bizarre as Tim & Eric, but it’s along those lines. It reminded me of Stella (Michael Ian Black, David Wain, Michael Showalter), or a lot of Adult Swim material (like Childrens Hospital) or some of the weirder SNL digital shorts. This kind of thing usually wears thin before it’s over, and that is definitely the case here, but it made me laugh enough overall to recommend it.
(Screened at the Sundance Film Festival.)