Florence Marr is the Greenberg family’s personal assistant. Her day is filled with fulfilling other people’s wishes. Florence’s own modest existence is in marked contrast to the busy lives led by the Greenbergs in their elegant villa in Hollywood Hills. Florence lives in a tiny studio apartment and, from time to time, performs as a hopeful singer at open mike evenings.
When her boss Phillip Greenberg and his family go away on a long trip abroad Florence finds herself with time on her hands. As usual she keeps an eye on the Greenberg’s house, takes care of their dog, Mahler … and now also Phillip Greenberg’s brother, Roger, who has been asked to house-sit.
Roger is fortyish, intelligent, witty and sharp-tongued – and, like Florence, a bit of a sad character. He has been working in New York as a carpenter after his dreams of a career in music in Los Angeles came to nought. Now he professes to do ‘nothing at all’. A meeting with a former band member Ivan and his ex-girlfriend Beth is a depressing experience: both of their lives have moved on while Roger’s life appears to have stood still. Old friends, he surmises, aren’t necessarily the best.
Roger finds himself stranded in Hollywood Hills. Unable to drive, he is dependent on Florence to chauffeur him around. The young woman finds his vulnerability attractive and, before long, something that began as a favour to her employer turns into a charmingly eccentric and surprising attachment between two unattached people.
by Noah Baumbach
with Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh
USA 2009 107’

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Focus Features International

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