Tuesday, June 9, 2015

While We're Young (2014)

Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer:    Noah Baumbach
Cast:       Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver

A middle-aged couple's career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. Film starts with this forties couple meeting their recently turned parents friends and realizing that they are not the same people anymore. They don't have kids and have come to terms with it. Josh (Ben Stiller), the husband in the couple, is a struggling documentary maker and he meets the young post-modern couple in one of his classes. They think they can relate more to these 25-year- olds rather than their usual friends. Over the course of the film they realize that things are not really what they seem, like you would expect from this sort of premise, but it does go out about it in such a fashion that it is quite hard to describe what it is.

One can also see this as a protest from Baumbach about the recent trend in documentary film-making (Catfish, HBO documentary on Robert Durst) where they mix facts with fiction to make the narrative interesting. I personally don't have too many problems with it, very much like almost all other characters in this film apart from Josh. The dynamics and power-play along with frustrations in their relationship are very subtly played out and Baumbach doesn't attempt to make it as if he is making it to be about some central point. The couple don't have that epiphany at the end to change their ways but they do indeed decide to adopt a child at the end, which is again a sort of 'black' humor from the director. 

The documentary film that Josh is making is I think a reference to Woody Allen film 'Crimes and Misdemeanors'. I am a fan of Noah Baumbach's work and he is someone who mixes Woody Allen with early Wes Anderson. This film is more of the former than the latter and ends with David Bowie's 'Golden Years' playing during the closing credits. It is a great watch and my favorite work of his is 'Frances Ha'. 

Rating: 4/5