I liked “The Squid and the Whale” by Noah Baumbach (Writer/Director), but I didn’t like “Greenberg,” and I thought “Frances Ha” was a bad joke. I am pleased to report, however, that “While We’re Young” is an amusing and, at times, very funny film with some interesting themes, such as ambition vs. acceptance and self-interest vs. generosity.
Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a childless couple living in NYC. He is a fairly successful documentary film maker, but he can’t seem to complete his latest project, which he has been working on for the last 10 years. He makes his money now as a college professor, teaching documentary film. Cornelia is a film producer with a famous documentary-filmmaker father (Charles Grodin), with whom Josh has a conflict. Their marriage is solid, but they have gotten into a rut. Their close friends just had a baby and suggest they do the same.
Jamie (Adam Driver) is a 20-something filmmaker married to Darby (Amanda Seyfried). They audit Josh’s class, and a friendship develops between the two couples. Jamie and Darby are filled with optimism and enthusiasm, and expose Josh and Cornelia to new experiences, such as riding bicycles around the city, hip-hop workouts, and even taking mescaline. Some of these situations are very funny. Josh becomes a mentor for Jamie. Both couples have a significant and seemingly-positive influence on each other.
The situation, however, is not quite what it appears to be, as Josh and Cornelia gradually discover. The acting by the four leads is good, and the screenplay is well-written and consistently interesting. Although primarily a comedy, this film has a serious twist, which probably could have been better, but gives the film more depth. I’d see this movie before you get much older.
Rating 7.5 – good movie, worth seeing on the BS