In Ordinary World, Billie Joe Armstrong plays a character some might wish he would inhabit for real: a former musician who’s moved on to another phase of his life. The Green Day frontman is backed in that role by a strong cast including Judy Greer as a former flame, Selma Blair as his straitlaced wife, Fred Armisen as an old bandmate, and Chris Messina as his younger, better-adjusted brother.
A decade into his band’s “temporary hiatus,” Armstrong’s rocker-turned-dad is now reduced to chasing after the garbage truck because he forgot to move the bins to the street and missing Joan Jett concerts to attend talent shows.
“You remind me of one of those days where it’s rainy and sunny at the same time,” his brother tells him; like a lot of rock ‘n’ roll lyrics, this sounds deep even if it doesn’t actually make much sense. Younger brother makes up for the insult with a gift of $1,000 for his birthday, which everyone else has forgotten, leading our hero to rent out an expensive suite for an ill-advised daytime party.
Armstrong, who’s mostly played himself in previous forays into acting, has a low-key charm suggesting that, if he desired it, he could get more onscreen gigs in between albums. It’s partially on the strength of his performance that, like your average three-chord rock song, Ordinary World is easy enough to get into — even if it doesn’t get stuck in your head.
Directed by Lee Kirk
Let It Play
Opens October 14, Village East Cinema
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 12, 2016