While We’re Young

★★★★
A breath of fresh air.
Movie Review #990

while_were_young

Everything about “While We’re Young” seems to work out perfectly. I went in looking for something to pick at, and found nothing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s flawless, and enjoyably so. You have, first and foremost, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts starring as a pair. That may seem like a radical idea, until you see it come to life. Stiller and Watts are far better together as an onscreen couple than they’d ever deserve to be. Quite honestly, I wish they’d play a married couple more often.

Then you have the script. Writer-director Noah Baumbach speaks the language of the human condition fluently. His words are natural and realistic, and they offer every bit of what the story in “While We’re Young” is trying to say. The film offers a deep and engrossing perspective on life as we know it. You have a story of self-reflection, where a Gen X couple (Stiller and Watts) meets a Gen Y couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) and learns to enjoy life to its fullest, as if they were 25 years old again. They gradually evolve out of their workaholic lifestyle.  They step out of their apartment and finally begin to realize that there’s every opportunity for fulfillment surrounding them in the Big Apple–late-night dinners, hip-hop classes, parties, raves, drug-fueled Egyptian rituals.  The list goes on.

The way Baumbach incorporates a hipster spirit into his latest movie is rather amusing. You see t-shirts that say “Some Stupid Band”, or “Some College I Don’t Go To”. We get the same vibe, full of life, from the younger couple. Ironically, it’s the fortysomethings here who seem more acquainted with contemporary lifestyle. They’re more in tune with technology, for sure, and in fact they rely on it. At an early point in the movie, the Gen Y couple is trying to describe a certain spice, but can’t come up with its name. The name is on the tip of their tongues, but they’d rather try and remember the name until it comes back to them. After all, that’s a more fulfilling exercise than to do a quick Wikipedia search for the name–which is exactly what the Gen X couple resorts to. The Gen Y couple doesn’t place concern on the material value of iPhones or tablets, but rather on LPs and handcrafted furniture. Their perspective on life is just eccentric enough to make this lighthearted dramedy a breath of fresh air.

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