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D’Arcy Carden and Beck Bennett Enter the Strange Suburbia of ‘Greener Grass’

Stars of ‘The Good Place’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ join this unsettling tale of competing suburban moms.
D'arcy Carden The Good Place
By  · Published on October 2nd, 2018

In recent years D’Arcy Carden has proven to be a comedic powerhouse. Whether she’s a struggling actress on Barry or The Good Place‘s secret weapon, she’s always a delight. Meanwhile, over on Saturday Night Live Beck Bennett, alongside frequent collaborator Kyle Mooney, has demonstrated his sensibilities with a number of offbeat sketches. And now the two have found their next big roles.

Deadline reports that Carden and Bennett are set to star in the dark comedy Greener Grass, from writer/directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. This will be a feature adaptation of a 2015 short of the same name, written by DeBoer and Luebbe DeBoer and Luebbe and directed by Paul Briganti. The short is an uneasy watch, to say the least, depicting the competitive relationship between two suburban moms in an unsettlingly idyllic setting. The dramatic music, exaggerated cinematography, and some truly bizarre turns make this well worth a watch.

How exactly this small-scale story will translate to a feature-length narrative I have no idea, but I can’t wait to see what DeBoer and Luebbe have in store.

At the time of writing, we don’t know what roles Carden and Bennett will be playing in the movie, but the two are a perfect fit regardless. Carden has become a fan-favorite on The Good Place, with her performance as the upbeat A.I. Janet (who our own Ciara Wardlow wrote a great appreciation post aboutproving she’s a force to be reckoned with. And as if that wasn’t enough, she also shined as Natalie Greer in Barry this year, making the character stand out amongst an extremely impressive supporting cast.

Bennett may be often used as a reliable straight man in SNL, but it’s in the weirder stuff where he really shines. His and Mooney’s best sketches have a trademark weirdness, playing with off-kilter line delivery and awkward body language. Their work isn’t for everyone, and is often cut for time, but the strange world of Greener Grass should be a perfect fit for his odd sensibilities.

DeBoer and Luebbe will reprise their roles as Jill and Lisa from the short, joining a fun group of supporting actors. The cast also features Jim Cummings, Lauren Adams, Mary HollandAsher Miles FallicaJulian Hilliard, and John Milhiser.

Cummings is perhaps best known for his upcoming film Thunder Road, which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film started out as a fantastically charming short, which saw Cummings play a distraught cop at his mother’s funeral. The character deals with his grief by singing the Bruce Springsteen song that the film shares a title with, all executed in a single shot. The feature-length version made a big splash at this years SXSW Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Award, and is set for release on October 12th.

Adams’ biggest role is on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, where she plays Kimmy’s friend and bunker survivor Gretchen. Her appearances in the show are always hilarious and unpredictable, such as the time Kimmy inadvertently inspired her to start her own cult, leading to a standoff with the FBI. Adams is always a welcome presence on that show and she’ll make a fine addition to this movie.

Holland has appeared in a variety of shows and movies, including Brooklyn Nine-NineParks and Recreation and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. And her most high profile role was as Shawnee Tanz on Veep, making an impact in her short time on the show.

Fallica meanwhile had a small role in Ozark‘s first season, portraying young Jonah in flashbacks and was most recently seen alongside Charlize Theron in Tully. Elsewhere Hilliard showed up in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House this year and Milhiser has had small roles in Ghostbusters: Answer the Call and Love, following a short run on SNL.

This is a solid list of performers and here’s hoping they all get a chance to shine when Greener Grass drops next year. Now if we could only find out who they’ve got to play the dog version of poor Julian.

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