While We’re Young
In latest indie drama/comedy While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach has reunited with Ben Stiller to portray the life of a 40-something childless couple. For anyone who shrivels up at the thought of anything remotely to do with children, it’s a fascinating look into how life could be.
Josh and Cornelia (Stiller and Naomi Watts) fall victim to their closest friends giving birth to a baby girl. After trying to ingratiate themselves into the world of newborns – a fantastic scene where Cornelia sits in on a music class for babies, only to storm out after a few seconds of sing-a-long hell, will resonate with any baby-phobe – Josh and Cornelia meet Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried): a married couple in their mid-20s who show an infectious verve for life, awakening the elder couples’ youthfulness. Cue joke montages showing the “oldies” trying to keep up with the “young uns”, including some impressive hip hop dancing from Watts, and how they both deal with technology in the modern age.
Beneath the humour is a story about Stiller’s character, Josh, struggling to complete his ten-year documentary project. After enjoying previous success, he has become clouded in the thick shadow of his father-in-law, Leslie Breitbart (Charles Grodin) – a world-renowned documentarian. Grodin brings a gravitas to the role that makes you believe this is a world-renowned documentarian playing himself. Josh and Jamie’s documentary aspirations begin to clash, especially when Jamie begins consulting with Leslie, falling into an almost love triangle of film makers.
Stiller’s comic acting is ageing gracefully. Along with some shrewd acting decisions, this role highlights his understanding of how his style of humour needs to grow with him. While others still try their hardest to appeal to a younger demographic, Stiller has welcomed his ascent into old-manhood. He’s behaving like any successful writer – except less write what you know, more act what you know.
Especially for those who harbour no intention of having children, this film has a lot of resonance. It goes to show that having a child is not the be all and end all to live, and there’s merit in being comfortable with that. With incredibly convincing acting from most of the cast and a wonderfully told story, While We’re Young is an ageless indie gem.
While We’re Young is released nationwide on 3rd April 2015.
Watch the trailer for While We’re Young here: