While We’re Young Review
Directed by Noah Baumbach and starring talented Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller, While We’re Young is a 2015 comedy drama film about a couple in their 40s coping with their age and meeting a young couple in their 20s as well as exploring art and documentary filmmaking.
The plot is fairly simple, but it benefits from its variety of relevant themes which are wonderfully explored. It explores perfectly what is art and the meaning of art in the 21st century and whether or not it is lost especially regarding documentaries. It also perfectly captures the feeling of depression and difficulties of coping with age which are present in forties. But it probably explores the best the difference and generational gap between young and old which is much larger in today’s age. All those themes are very well dealt with thanks to excellent script in most parts. And all of the third act is absolutely superb with thought-provoking discussions and arguments leading to the beautiful and optimistic resolution for the lead characters.
However, there are some things here that really bugged me out. That was mostly the too modern approach with way too many unnecessary drug fueled sequences as well as some stupid and clearly not fitting to the story cheating with kissing parts. Those scenes just ruined the movie for me. The other thing that is really troublesome is Baumbach’s directing which really annoyed me as it was great for the most part, but weak in other parts. He just wasn’t sure where to go at times, those aforementioned sequences he should have kept far from here and he just never connected all the bits and pieces in a smooth manner as some other more experienced director would.
The characters are very well developed. Cornelia is great and she somehow provides most of the humor in the film and Jamie and Darby are mostly well realized and used. But this is Josh’s movie as he is the finest character here with the most important story arc and beautifully depicted personality and behavior which is so realistic and poignant. As for the acting, all of the actors did a splendid job, that’s for sure. Especially the leads. However, speaking of leads, I unfortunately never bought Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller playing these roles. They are wonderful and extremely talented actors with a lot of charm as well, but they aged too well and they look too young to play these parts. They should have gone with some older looking actors.
The humor here is at times really pleasant and definitely making you smile if not laugh. But it is never hilarious and while that is a flaw, the movie is very dramatic meaning that the drama part itself is phenomenally achieved. As for editing, it is so-so as those annoying sequences tend to go for too long and the beginning is somehow dragged and boring. The dialogue is excellent as is the movie’s message. And as said before, the movie hugely benefits from those superb themes and subject matter along with terrific characters and acting. I just wished the direction were better and it would have been a great film.
While We’re Young has superbly developed and realistic characters, terrific performances and the movie hugely benefits from the incorporation of some excellent themes and thought-provoking and relevant subject matter. The directing could have better, some scenes are very annoying and highly unnecessary and I never bought Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in these roles – they are extremely talented, but they do not fit the parts as they look too young. But the movie is very smart and relevant bringing a lot of issues regarding this age in a realistic manner and although it is a very flawed movie, it should be watched by indie fans nevertheless.