While We’re Young, 2015.
Directed by Noah Baumbach.
Starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin and Maria Dizza.SYNOPSIS:
The life, career and marriage of Cornelia and Josh is upended when they meet young and vibrant couple, Jamie and Darby who introduce them to a new way of living.
Actors are regularly tarred with the “they always play the same character” criticism. Call this the Michael Cera memorial opening. Although I’ll probably type those same six words later in this review, my thoughts are that I’d do the same. Wouldn’t you?
Accustomed to a certain life, we see how Cornelia (Naomi Watts) and Josh (Ben Stiller) react being out of their comfort zone as they hold friends, Fletcher and Marina’s new baby. An amusing opening scene that does well to lay the basis of the movie as well as to quickly captured both characters. Soon enough, like a seemingly overnight new craze we’ve discovered through a younger friend or relative Cornelia and Josh longing to be all together different. That’s one of reasons they make the decision to befriend Jamie and Darby after running into each other after a class held by Josh, a previous protegé of Cornelia’s famous documentarian father.
You’ve probably seen on the posters that this is Noah Baumbach’s most accessible movie. That’s certainly correct as it goes out of its way to do so. You have many pop culture references and segments in the movie seemingly created to allow the characters to feel relatable. Don’t get me wrong, its approached with enough humour and a certain charm that prevents it from being overwhelming. You do however feel the weight of these as we progress through the action.
This is when the movie kicks into high gear as we flow through the quips on the differences between both generations. Not only that, we look upon the fact the delightful subtle but desperate pairing of Watts and Stiller are more uncomfortable with life than the 20-somethings sitting across from them. We have a sequence at Jamie and sorbet making Darby’s apartment that runs with all the weird and wonderful stereotypes you think of when you imagine a New York hipster. Cue an array of obscure possession’s, live chickens and all. The newly formed foursome can’t recall the word “marizpan,” Josh instantly reaches for his phone in order to Google his query and put them out of their misery. “Let’s just not know” utters Jamie. In the age of information, among many, those words simply don’t exist.
Yes, we have a big serving of Woody Allen here but set a movie in New York with people talking about life, love and loathing and someone, somewhere will make that connection. The final segments didn’t work for, setting up a great deal to just settle and move on. I found myself remembering scenes and lines from While We’re Young rather than the piece as a whole. These lines deserve to be replayed in your mind and get a laugh from me each time I do. A clever, disciplined comedy that has some stellar moments.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Gary McCurry – Follow me on Twitter