Saturday movie review: While We're Young

If you're one of those people who, regardless of your age or stage of life, still feel like you're not quite one of the grown ups, that you're a youngster pretending to do and be what folks your age should be doing, then WHILE WE'RE YOUNG will resonate. I assure you I am one of those people, and I assure you the recent dramedy from writer/director Noah Baumbach hit home—and the heart—on multiple levels.

While We're Young comedy

Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, both teetering on joining the 50+ club in real life play 40-something Josh and Cornelia, a childless married couple who feel a bit abandoned by their friends who have plunged head and heart first into parenthood. Josh and Cornelia convince themselves and one another how content they are with their middle-aged lives, unhampered by kids and the responsibilities involved with such.

Then they meet twenty-something Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). Jamie and Darby are hip, retro, and everything Ben and Naomi would like to have been at that age... and this age. They glom onto the hipsters, follow their lead on fun, fashion, and finding themselves (or at least attempting new methods for such). Until Josh, a documentary filmmaker, suspects Jamie, also a documentarian, and Darby are not as genuine as first perceived, that their serendipitous meeting one another was actually a set up, a ploy for Jamie to connect with Josh's father-in-law, Leslie, a successful, award-winning documentarian (played by Charles Grodin).


WHILE WE'RE YOUNG honestly and amusingly explores the gamut of relationships. The relationship between couples, between friends, between parents and children (adult and otherwise). And the relationship we have with ourselves—what we've lost and let go of as we've aged, how we delude ourselves that we're still cool and relevant, how to come to terms with life not turning out as planned. No matter our age, the generation below us seems cooler, the generation above wiser.

And it's about integrity, the importance of sincerity and authenticity in those relationships with others and ourselves.

Many of the scenes had me laughing out loud, especially those subtly—and some not so subtly—emphasizing the asurdities of life that we all experience yet rarely point out how silly it all is. WHILE WE'RE YOUNG isn't by any means a slapstick sort of film, but the situations Josh puts himself in—and Cornelia, too—are often hilarious in part because we all do such things. At least those of us still trying to successfully master the "grown up" gig do.

I could go into the merits of each of the stars and their characters, but this featurette does it far better than I might:


The fun and funny WHILE WE'RE YOUNG (rated R for language) was released theatrically in April 2015 and is now availabe on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally. Learn more on the film's official website.