That ball is eventually birthed and named “Twilson” (because Tom Hanks’ baby is already named Wilson, of course), which is emblematic of the material’s anything-goes verve. DeBoer and Luebbe’s turns are chipper to the point of being disturbed, and yet they maintain just enough semblance of normalcy to keep things from totally spiraling out of control. The same goes for their direction: their neatly symmetrical compositions, low-angled zooms into close-up, and occasional doses of slow-motion enhance the action’s off-kilter mood. Their film feels like the sort of quasi-nightmare you’d have after being dosed by a dentist with too much nitrous oxide—goofy and gauzy and more than a bit sickly sweet.
The power of peer pressure, and the urge to conform (and to demand conformity from others), eventually plays a role in Greener Grass, which loses some comedic steam on its way to its conclusion (if one can call it that; this is hardly a narrative-driven affair). Nonetheless, if its humor eventually wanes, its tongue-in-cheek horror stays potent up to its final moments, in which there’s no worse fate than losing the very things that define you and suburban success—especially since, as DeBoer and Luebbe contend, there’s no escaping this psycho social milieu.
Well, actually, there are many strange things in this fever-dream of a suburban satire: unruly children transformed into golden retrievers, underwear touted proudly as neck scarves, an entire population of adults wearing braces on straight teeth — but perhaps the most unsettling bit is just how familiar it all feels.