Title – While We’re Young (2014)
Director – Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha)
Cast – Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried
Plot – Middle aged and childless couple Josh (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts) have their lives turned upside down by a new friendship with young married couple Jamie (Driver) and Darby (Seyfried), who as modern aged hipsters give Josh and Cornelia a new and fresh focus both career wise and life wise.
“He’s not evil, he’s just… young”
Review by Eddie on 24/08/2015
I’d go as far to say that While We’re Young is quite possibly indie auteur Noah Baumbach’s most readily accessible and even mainstream film and with a bunch of winning performances is an on point comedy that has both something to say and something to prove even when its later stages derail slightly into something that feels out of place.
Renowned for his quirky comedic character studies mixed with a deft hand of seriousness, Baumbach’s greatest successes with films like The Squid and the Whale and Greenberg found the director more focussed on the darkness rather than the light so it’s great so see Baumbach throw caution to the wind here in this lively and spirit filled tale of 40 plus year old married couple Josh and Cornelia played by the unlikely yet in the end fun duo of Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, who is a real joy to watch in a film that sees her free from the often seriousness of her other dramatic projects. Baumbach has hit the nail on the end with his skewering of the modern day trend of middle agers trying far too hard to still be hip and I’m sure as I’m privy to there are others out there that know people that will be recognisable in the characters of Josh and Cornelia.
With his finger on the pulse to this new age conundrum Baumbach’s film suffers when the films focus shifts to a commentary on the state of modern day documentary filmmaking, the film all of a sudden seeming to take on a soap box for Baumbach to stand on and shout from in regards to the movie making medium. He does this through the use of Stiller’s Josh a struggling documentary maker who’s internal struggles are amplified by his friendship with Adam Driver’s energetic and carefree young hipster filmmaker Jamie the films strong opening stanza and scenes where Josh and Cornelia first start their friendship with Jamie and wife Darby are a league above the films later half hour and it’s a shame that While We’re Young doesn’t finish in a stronger fashion.
Filled with witty, true to life and socially sharp scenarios, While We’re Young is one of the better comedies of the year that has both a winning cast and strong direction from Baumbach that is brought down by strange plot turns that end up adding up to a rather big letdown. Still, Baumbach has yet again reminded us that his one of the most on point social commentary minded film makers of the modern age, with an understanding of the minds of the young to middle aged population that ranks up there with the best of them.
3 ½ trendy hats out of 5