While We’re Young is Noah Baumbach’s comedy drama about a middle aged couple (Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts) who suddenly find a new lease of life when a younger couple (Adam Driver & Amanda Seyfried) enter their world. The film starts off as a fairly standard comedy about growing old, think “This Is 40” but less self indulgent and a bit funnier. Stiller & Watts are very funny in this section of the film as we see them try to cope with this strange modern world around them. The film manages to find quite a lot of comedy in this section despite the fact we have already seen numerous comedies about growing old before.
Soon the film changes focus however and it turns it’s attention to Ben Stiller’s character that of documentary film maker Josh. Josh meets Jamie (Adam Driver) and Derby (Amanda Seyfried) at first Josh is fascinated by the two and he is amazed at their hipster lifestyle this pushes both Josh and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) into a midlife crisis as they try to keep up with their new friends again the film finds comedy here and provides temporary reflection on the young lifestyles clashing with the old. However this coasting along familiar ideas isn’t enough for the film and it starts to push forward into new ground. The film starts of play on the fact that three of its main characters make documentaries so it starts musing on the idea of storytelling and truth vs art. It’s interesting ground for the film and it does make it stand out from similar indie fare. Personally I didn’t find that all of the stuff about filmmaking ultimately tied together and it did come out of left field from where the film was starting off which itself wasn’t a bad thing but in the end it felt a little rushed and it didn’t all make sense and often it was explained through speeches. You could make a comparison to Birdman in this respect but the film comes out much better than Birdman for many reasons lime the fact it’s considerably funnier, the writing is whilst flawed is still interesting and it moves along at a very fast pace. The core of the film is the four main characters and the actors are all very good in their roles. Baumbach’s direction is very light and naturalistic I haven’t seen any of his previous films but he is clearly fitting this one within the established American indie style.
Overall While We’re Young is an above average comedy it’s very light with it’s touch, it’s consistently funny and it provides interesting reflection on the nature of youth even if it’s stuff about storytelling doesn’t ultimately come together.