There are films you need to see in a theater with an attentive audience. You need the darkness, the ability to not have anyone ring your front doorbell and an excuse to turn off your cellphone. You need to be able to focus without a care. There are other films that you need to watch on a large HDTV with a remote control in hand because you’re going to want to immediately hit the rewind button to see if what just happened really happened. Such is the case of Greener Grass, an absurdist tale of a planned community in a sunny world. Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe play the two leads, wrote the script and directed the film. This is their baby and they don’t give it away whimsically. The film makes you hit the rewind to make sure you saw what you really saw. Could this really take place?
Every often you find out about these ultra planned communities that sell themselves as being “safe.” Everyone allowed to buy a house has to go through a deep background check. They don’t want to let in “those kind” of people. They want the kind of people that appear in nice stock photos of perfect families. They ban cars so you have to drive around in golf carts as a way to keep things nicer and safer from nasty cars. Most of these idealistic communities turn out to have dark secrets. But Greener Grass goes in a totally different direction with a planned development and its approved neighbors.
Jill (Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead‘s Golden Arm‘s Dawn Luebbe) sit in the bleachers and watch their boys’ soccer match. Lisa’s son is full of violent rage and spends most of the game kicking the goal post. Jill’s inept son finds himself constantly getting knocked over. The ladies are equally inept and clueless. While they are friends and been talking for a while, Lisa finally notices that Jill is holding a baby. Without much hesitation, Jill offers to give her friend the baby to keep. Jill’s husband doesn’t seem to care that their baby now belongs to Lisa. That’s the first major clue that these characters are severely clueless. Things get more bizarre because everyone is in the community is trying their best to be nice and fit in. This is illustrated by all the adults having braces and driving around in electric golf carts. During one scene a child decides to runaway and the family isn’t concerned because they think he’s transformed. How far can these people go in their ability to want to be a certain level of normal to live in this perfect community?
Greener Grass pushes the envelope of “that’s messed up.” If you’ve always felt creepy when hearing people pitch their perfect planned community, this film is perfect. There are so many absurd moments that will have you rewind a minute back just to make sure that really happened. Even the perfect school is a freak show with a teacher (The Good Place‘s D’Arcy Carden) that isn’t quite all there. Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe have created a sweet and savage look into people who so want to live in a perfect world with Greener Grass.
The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The high resolution brings out the details in the perfect community. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1. This gives you the feeling that you’re watching the kid soccer game with the moms. The movie is subtitled.
DVD with the movie and bonus features.
Greener Grass (14:57) is the short film that launched the feature. Most of the action takes place at the soccer field.
Deleted Scenes (9:19) includes an outdoor performance, baby shower and a swim team practice.
TV Interstitials (6:22) includes all the weirdness that ran on TV including Baby Bird Food and the TV show “Kids With Knives.”
Theatrical Trailer (2:02) gives a quick sense of the weirdness.
Shout! Factory presents Greener Grass. Directed by: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. Screenplay by: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. Starring: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland & D’Arcy Carden. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 111 minutes. Released: February 11, 2020.
Tags: Greener Grass, Shout! Factory, The Good Place