Fletcher: I have an epidural on Monday, herniated disc or something.
Josh: I have arthritis in my knee.
Fletcher: What the f*** happened to us, man?
When you have dialogues like the above in a film, you know it’s gotta be good. At its heart, While We’re Young is a film full of melancholy, but is effortlessly funny at times, which almost makes you forget about Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts’ problems. Noah Baumbach‘s latest directorial venture is a rollicking ride, from start to finish.
The film follows Josh (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts), an ageing couple who have been married for quite a while. Josh is a documentary filmmaker, who’s been stuck with the same short film for eight years. Cornelia is the daughter of a famed documentarian (Charles Grodin). To both of their dismay, they can’t have children. They don’t go out, have very few friends and the ones that they do have (Ad Rock and Maria Dizzia) are having children. Both Josh and Cornelia are the quintessential fortysomethings stuck in a mid-life crisis, until they meet a young hipster couple, Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried).
Jamie and Darby are the antithesis of Josh and Cornelia. They play board games, have a pet rooster, cycle everywhere, wear hats, watch The Goonies and have records instead of iTunes. Jamie is also a documentarian (Coincidence?) and loves Josh’s work, while Darby makes her own ice cream. Yes, they’re hipsters, remember? The rest of the film displays a budding bromance between Jamie and Josh, as they collaborate to make a film, while Darby and Cornelia are both supportive and suspicious of each other.
In terms of the plot, the movie seems passable, while the witty comedy helps in keeping things fresh. Ben Stiller showcases his talents as a comic actor, as well as his acting chops in serious scenes. Naomi Watts reminds you how skilled she is at showing pain, so much so that you almost miss how funny she can be. Driver is brilliant as the hipster Jamie, who pirouettes when he gets up from a table, says jeez-louise and puts his hands together in a namaste. However, Josh gets sidelined, while Jamie hogs all the credit. The rest of the plot sees Josh and his angst filled tirade against Jamie. Suffice to say, the cast shines, each different from the next.
In the end, the film sees Josh and Cornelia head to Port Au Prince, to adopt a baby, finally having broken apart from Jamie and Darby. Towards the close, they find that they needed a life, and not a lifestyle.
Why Should You Watch The Film?
Watch it for Ben Stiller and Adam Driver, who both shine in their own right. Charles Grodin has also made a brilliant appearance. Catch it over the weekend!