Film Review: While We’re Young
Noah Baumbach’s comedy While We’re Young is amusing, engaging, and speaks about the modern condition without ever appearing cacophonous in its social commentary.
Josh and Cornelia are a long-time married couple in their forties. When a young couple enter their lives, Josh and Cornelia’s world is affected by the influx of youth…
Writer-director Noah Baumbach has produced perhaps his most accomplished work to date with While We’re Young. The film is funny, absorbing, and meditates on modern society in a disarming fashion. The set up of While We’re Young works well to briskly establish the lifestyle of the two protagonists, so that the change brought in by Jamie and Darby seems fresh and exhilarating. Baumbach utilises support characters effectively in marking this change.
Viewers are invited to identify with Josh in the whirlwind of change that he encounters. His excitement is understandable, as is his increasing apprehension. While We’re Young‘s script functions well to reveal characters in a way that is natural yet interesting.
The humour in While We’re Young works exceptionally well. There is comedy to be found in all manner of aspects, from the situations that arise to the cultural references. Baumbach’s script is very amusing, and the direction lends itself to comedy.
Performances in the film are great. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts have good chemistry, and interact in a way which seems very natural. Adam Driver is finely cast as Jamie, whilst Amanda Seyfried brings the necessary perkiness to Darby.
While We’re Young is a meditation on the concept of youth and ageing. There will be plenty in the film for all ages of adult to identify with. Youth is posited as both exotic and fearsome in Baumbach’s film, and this is executed in a way that resonates. The issue of having children is dealt with in a way that feels thoroughly modern and retains a sense of humour.
While We’re Young is a satisfying comedy that shows a convincing understanding of ageing in the contemporary world. Highly recommended viewing.