Movie ‘While we’re young’ see’s Filmmaker and lecturer Josh (Ben Stiller) is at a point in his life where his career is going nowhere.
His project has been continuous over the last 6 years, he comes home to his wife and home at the same time every day, and feels content with his existence until the day that young couple Jamie and Darby invite him and his wife to experience their life. Taking in everything that Josh used to be, adding in a bit of his own personality, Jamie seduces the older couple into a confabulation of hope and dreams. Whilst in this wonderland Josh fights with his old age and the adult he feels he has become to decide what it is that he wants from life.
“A nice light comedy about opening the door to what scares you.”
The film as I have described is a lovely film and the trailer portrays this too. It’s the nitty gritty parts that leave me unfulfilled with this film. The story follows a path that most people will encounter at some point, the moment we see other people on the path that we have taken. For me that feeling is summed up in one phrase “only 90’s kids will remember…” There are several contradictory scenes such as experiencing an enlightening moment in your life whilst in a house with strangers throwing up into buckets. These do add some comedic value but I feel Noah Baumbach could have achieved the same laughs whilst still keeping in the tone of the film. He also doesn’t complete many parts of the story; either leaving them open or ending them too quickly and hoping they are forgotten. Baumbach has written some off-the-wall and innovative films: Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou, maybe this time his freedom from Wes Anderson has let him be too creative.
The feel of the film is very rough around the edges: from the sets used, the wardrobe and music on the sound track. All of this fits really well and I think could lead this to be a nice summer afternoon film.
Something that you can just watch with a cold cider, I’m a little sad they didn’t include The Killers in the music; a trick was defiantly missed there!
As for the cast, there are some gems and honourable mentions that make for exciting cameos. Starting with the obvious Ben Still who plays Josh, Someone that is very confused yet appears to know exactly what he wants. I think this comes across and any flaws in the character are more story based rather than acting.
“While we’re young has lots of funny moments – a must watch movie” – Chuckie
His on screen wife, Cornelia played by Naomi Watts, plays the resistant partner who is later drawn in by the dream. Its good to see Watts back on the big screen; it’s been a long time, the chemistry that Watts and Stiller display make them very emotive to watch.
Opposite these two we have Jamie played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried as Darby, who gives a performance you will love to hate. The only problem seems to be the disappearance of Darby, this adds to my confusion to the end of the film. Two gems to look out for: Charlies Grodin who started in the Beethoven film, and Adam Horovitz one third of the Beastie Boys! Although not huge roles they defiantly give an interesting performance and add something dynamic to the story.
Looking back I see two different films: the one that the trailers describes which is a really funny, almost typical Ben Stiller film. The other film is a deeper, sensitive story of fitting in to today’s society and the technological age we live in. Although separately these are good concepts, together I don’t think they initially integrate.
Now, a little while later I want to see it again, I want to try and like it because I know there is something special about this film. The acting is good, visually it’s a pretty film, its inventive and relevant yet I still left with an empty feeling. It’s a bit of an ironic title, has Ben Stiller hit his acting prime? Is there more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking? I’ll leave this for you to decide.
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG written and directed by Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver.
Review by Chuckie.