Very nice and welcomed surprise. Didn't know what to expect about 'While We're Young'. I have a strange relation with Noah Baumbach's movies, Loved 'The squid and the whale', liked the utterly dark 'Margot at the wedding', but I don't want to watch it again. 'Greenberg' was quite ok too, but I'm scared to death to watch 'Frances Ha' (seems a movie for hipsters), and I thought this one could be a very weak film, something several reviews stressed. Happily, there was no reason for my fears.
'While We're Young' might easily be the most balanced and, I guess, accessible of Baumbach's films to date. That assessment means two important facts. First, the bitterness and poignancy of many of Baumbach's previous works is virtually gone. As a matter of fact, the movie is a comedy, a satire. And second, the characters are likeable. This is, of course, a matter of personal taste. But aside the aforementioned 'The squid and the whale', in my opinion, his best movie yet, that makes leading characters Josh and Cornelia, played with conviction and some sort of charm by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, the most interesting, relatable, well-rounded, flawed, irritating at times and, therefore, human Baumbach has ever created.
Yeah, I have read the comparison with Woody Allen and, although I admit it hurts me quite a bit (I'll always be a fan) it is true that Baumbach has constructed a more credible, contemporary and refined story about the behavior of intellectuals than Allen's latest efforts. 'While We're Young' portrays this stucked couple trying to prove themselves they are still "in", still bohemian, still hip, although they have grown up. How do they try to connect with the times? Befriending, Jamie and Darby, played smoothly by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, a free-spirited couple still in their twenties, after the younger hipsters approaches Josh after one of his boring classes on filmmaking (Josh is a documentary filmmaker).
'While We're Young' works admirably as a funny game of contrasts. Old friends having kids and making their existence surrender to the babies, while the couple of hipsters celebrate a 'street beach' event or an Ayahuasca ceremony (leaded by Dean Wareham in an hilarious role). One looks scary, the other one intriguing... but scary too? Baumbach is just saying: both generations are quite ridicule, and is pretty easy to mock them. Oh yes! Here's another unmissable vynil for your record collection. Oh yes! Can I have a better Ipod for my daily running exercise? Cool and laughable, childish, at the same time. It also makes you think about yourself for a second (and in a lightweight manner). As someone who is in between both ages, and who works/deals within a hipster environment but has never been or felt part of it, many of what appears in 'While We're Young' sounds extremely familiar... I'm writing this review while listening the new Churches album, completely shocked this is "what you should listen now" when to me sounds suspiciously similar to Carly Rae Jepsen. Didn't we agree 80s electro-pop is embarrassing?
The movie also attempts to explore one of the 'controversial questions': what's authentic then? It might the weakest side of the film, because Jamie's convictions as a filmmaker (Darby's to a lesser extent too) are not really exposed if compared with Josh's adamantium but lost aims. But despite that might be a shortcoming, it do serves well Baumbach's purpose of showing people with good and insufferable qualities as well, complex and multidimensional, trying to do something with their life as they keep growing. Highly recommendable, whether you are a young hipster or an old bore, hahahaha...