Greta Gerwig is not my favorite actress with the first name Greta and last initial G. But she’s my second favorite. Which I realize sounds like damning with faint praise but it’s really not. My heart has belonged to Garbo for a long time and it’s unlikely that anybody’s going to take her place as my movie star girlfriend any time soon.
Why? I’m not really sure. She too idiosyncratic and (I think) unconcerned to be beautiful and in most of her movies – especially in “Damsels in Distress” – I’m not sure what to make of her detached, almost emotionless style of acting.
But there’s something compelling about her, something vulnerable. Whatever it is, it’s hard for me to take my eyes off her.
In “The Dish and the Spoon” Gerwig plays a woman who catches her husband cheating and takes off to her parent’s beach house. Nobody there since it’s the dead of winter in Delaware – well, nobody there except a strange, bedheaded British boy. We never do learn much about him. He’s just there to play off Greta’s character, sort of a male equivalent of an ethereal weirdo, the manic pixie dream girl in so many romcoms -- except you can tell there’s no way he’s gonna end up with Greta. And he’s not manic.
My favorite scene in this movie is when the pair wander off during a tour of Dogfish Head Brewery led by none other than founder and CEO Sam Calagione – who I rather doubt conducts many tours these days. But unless you’re a beer nerd too, this might not be your favorite scene.
Suds aside, I also liked the rare opportunity of seeing Greta G do some actual acting. She calls her cheating husband on the phone and is just cussing him up one side and down the other, saying she will not hang up the “fucking phone” until he tells her “every fucking thing” he did with his “fucking whore”. Her reaction when he actually does tell her everything is spot on.
I didn’t like the end where – Spoiler alert – she goes home to her husband. You could do so much better, Greta.