Tom Basham

While We’re Young

In This Just OUT on April 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm

while-posterI saw “While We’re Young” today, but I may have been too late. I mean, I almost fell asleep on my walker.

Josh (Ben Stiller from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) is in his mid 40s and used to make documentary films. He still thinks he does, but really, he just talks about it. He has a nice boring life with his lovely wife, Cornelia (Naomi Watts from “Saint Vincent”), at least they have convinced themselves of that. With no kids, they can do all kinds of things at the spur of the moment, but they never do. They are a sad portrait of what yuppies become.

When these two meet a young couple, they become energized by their youth and enthusiasm. Jamie (Adam Driver from “Frances Ha“) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried from “A Million Ways to Die in the West“) are the people Josh and Cornelia always thought they were: young, brave, wildly creative and full of promise. Jamie is a budding filmmaker, too, and shines up to Josh while co-opting his connections. Darby is young and beautiful in that wild, earth-child kind of way.

I like Ben Stiller, and I love Naomi Watts, but they seemed to have no chemistry here. That may have been on purpose to show these characters as tired and disconnected when compared to the kids who live in a loft and have a pet chicken for the eggs.

Writer/Director Noah Baumbach (“Frances Ha”) has done a great job of holding a mirror up to a middle-aged couple to show them their past. At first they can only see what they have lost and how they squandered their youth. It takes a while before they can see they like the people they have become.

Baumbach is still trying to evolve into a better Woody Allen and so far I am enjoying the ride. Here he tries to show hipsters for the shallow narcissistic brats they are while not giving those a decade or two farther down the line much to live for. The result here is not a perfect film, but thankfully it’s not just another hack romantic comedy.  And for that, I must give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. Does anyone know where I can buy a chicken?

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:


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