12 Jun While We’re Young Review
Life Never Gets Old
Everything old is new again in this week’s FridayFlix movie pick, the quirky adult comedy, While We’re Young. The newest dramedy from indie darling, A24, While We’re Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a forty-something, childless couple grappling with the realities of New York City adulthood. Documentary filmmaker, Josh (Stiller), is struggling to complete his latest venture-10 years in the making-when he meets an interesting and doting student, Jamie (Adam Driver). Jamie is an aspiring documentarian with an easy charisma. He and girlfriend, Darby (Amanda Seyfried), become fast friends with Josh and his wife, Cornelia (Watts). Josh and Cornelia are fascinated with the young couple’s spontaneous life, their kitschy Brooklyn apartment that has recycled relics from the past and fashioned them into something “hip,” and their exhilarating ability to make the everyday feel like an adventure. When Jamie recruits Josh to help him with his new documentary, Josh feels flattered to be so admired as to have a protégée. Yet he soon discovers that his young ingénue has less than sincere motives, leaving Josh to contemplate the future of his career and his marriage.
In While We’re Young, director Noah Baumbach stays true to style by crafting a smart comedy populated by unique and vivid characters. A Brooklyn-ite himself, Baumbach writes from an honest place, and the result is a film that feels so very of the moment. Highlighting the glaring generation gap between the middle aged and the millennials, While We’re Young explores common themes like parenthood in the 21st century and the creeping power of social media without sounding like a broken record. Yet, for all its sharpness, While We’re Young has a tendency to lag. Not much happens that one didn’t already expect and placing most of the focus on the characters and their detailed world deters the pace. However, performances are strong enough all around to compensate. Stiller and Watts are charming and naïve, Seyfried is solid, and Driver plays Jamie with a sort of authenticity that suggests he may be more like his character than he is willing to admit. The varied cast, bolstered by sharp and meticulous writing, brings home a winner for Baumbach. While We’re Young proves that youth, while certainly something to celebrate, should be reserved for the young.
Own While We’re Young on FlixFling now.
This guest blog was written by Colleen Shields.