While We're Young

"Good"

While We're Young Review


Writer-director Noah Baumbach once again taps into a specific point in life with astute observational skill, even if the plot feels oddly forced. The vividly defined characters continually surprise with their awkward honesty, although this comedy-drama suffers from the contrived plotting of Greenberg (2010) rather than the free-spirited joy of Frances Ha (2012). Still, people on the cusp of middle age will find it hilariously, and worryingly, resonant.

In their early 40s, Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) feel like everyone is judging them for not having children. And Josh has the additional pressure that his filmmaking career has stalled: he has nothing to show for eight years spent on his latest documentary. Then they meet 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver) and his wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried), who inspire them to recapture their youthful interests in art and culture. Even their sex life begins to perk up. And Jamie encourages Josh to make progress on his movie, just as Jamie gets his own project underway, consulting with Cornelia's well-established filmmaker dad (Charles Grodin). But is this trans-generational friendship appropriate?

The fact that they even wonder that gives away Baumbach's own perspective, especially as he fills the film with witty contrasts that work a little too hard to make the point. For example, Josh collects CDs and DVDs while Jamie collects LPs and VHS tapes. Continual touches like this add lots of clever observational humour, although they also make everything feel a bit cartoonish and over-constructed. Plus of course the nagging sense that there's a right and wrong way these kinds of things should play out. Thankfully the dialogue is fiendishly smart, delivered to perfection by the gifted cast. And it helps that each of the actors are willing to be fairly unlikeable in his or her role, although Stiller is sometimes sent over the top with Josh's inexplicably harsh reactions to everyone around him.

Baumbach is exploring that point when young adulthood gives way to middle age. This is the moment when we realise that our youth is behind us and, even worse, that there's a hungry new generation that wants to take our place. The film explores these themes with pointed comedy and drama that's thoroughly entertaining even if it feels somewhat muddled by irrelevant set-pieces such as a hip-hop aerobics session or a Ayahuascan drug trip. So while the film is a lot of fun, it's also rather odd that Baumbach seems to think that there's a correct way to approach this transition. Actually, like adolescence, everyone has to plot his or her own course.


While We're Young Trailer

 



While We're Young

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th March 2015

Distributed by: A24

Production compaines: Scott Rudin Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Eli Bush, Lila Yacoub

Starring: as Josh, as Jamie, as Darby, as Cornelia, as Ken, as Ken, as Ken

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