Sunday, 24 May 2015
While We're Young 
Baumbach’s While We’re Young is a cynical dramedy centered around the mid-life crises and growing ennui of a 40-something New York couple. The ironic dichotomy surrounding the suppressed desire of Gen X to swap places with Gen Y on account of the latter’s carefree living and spontaneity, while simultaneously being judgemental about their moral choices commensurate with internet age, along with the debate on evaluating art by the process of creating it, made for interesting discussion points. Josh (Ben Stiller), a documentary filmmaker, and his vivacious wife Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are suffering from relationship issues. Josh, who had earned attention with his first film, has been struggling for a decade with his ambitious work on a leftist intellectual, and that, coupled by their being childless, have started taking toll on their marital well-being; Josh’s complicated relationship with his father-in-law (Charles Grodin), a once renowned documentarian, is also not helping. One fine day they become acquainted with aspiring documentary filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver) and his spunky wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried), and despite the initial distance, they soon find themselves being drawn towards the young couple and drifting towards a very different sort of lifestyle and choices. However, as is eventually revealed, the meeting might have been planned rather than incidental, thus throwing them into a crisis, and forcing them to relook at their ideas of art, marriage and life. Assured turns by Stiller and Watts, generational conflicts and the shifting camaraderie made this a noteworthy seriocomic effort, even if the urge to spelt out things that could have been left unsaid, and plot contrivances, prevented it from being a more nuanced and accomplished work.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Genre: Comedy Drama/Social Satire/Marriage Drama