Trailer: Noah Baumbach’s Los Angeles-set Greenberg

Early look at Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller popping up online now. It marks a return to an L.A. backdrop for a film of his since 1995’s Kicking and Screaming, which was filmed on and around the Occidental campus.

In this LCD Soundsystem-soundtracked trailer, look out for scenes shot at local institutions Musso and Frank and S.K.’s Donuts. OK, maybe I’m stretching the definition “institution” just a bit on that second one.

Based on the log line, the film has potential to go either way:

At a crossroads in his life, Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) ends up housesitting at his brother’s home in Los Angeles. There, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his brother’s assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring singer. Florence and Greenberg’s encounters lead to an uncertain and wonderfully vulnerable courtship.

Here’s to hoping it can avoid drifting into heavy handedness. Baumbach’s earned a bit of rope to see what he can do with this type of story–maybe a bit less rope for Stiller–which in lesser hands, too often relies on plot and character anvils dropped on viewers’ heads to drive its low and high points home.

Release set for March 12, 2010.