A story about truth and fiction told through the experiences of married couples, While We’re Young explores the conditions of marriage – happiness, contentment and authenticity – juxtaposed between couple in their 20s and in their 40s.
Directed by Noah Baumbach, the film examines the married life of Josh (Ben Stiller), a New York-based documentary filmmaker and Cornelia (Naomi Watts). After realising the distance between their own peers who have begun to have a families, Josh and Cornelia befriend Brooklyn hipsters, Jamie (Adam Driver), an aspiring filmmaker and his wife, Darby (Amanda Seyfried).
Baumbach produces an effective examination of marriage: love, career and the resurgence of youth and leisure. Whilst Josh and Cornelia represent the typical middle aged couple, Jamie and Darby embody the youth of today: carefree, spirited and hipster. From the youthful excitement of vintage VHS to natural ice cream making, the 20s couple is generation now. A look at the lifestyle of the New York, bohemian, chic living of people in their 20s, Baumbach excellently demonstrates a romanticised vision of our present generation. In the end, Baumbach showcases that youth, while exuberant in its own right, can never tarnish the authenticity and security of a well-lived life.
As he traverses between comedy and drama (from Greenberg to Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb), Stiller proves that he can do just that; a substantial performance that is relatable to the almost middle aged who search for youth and vibrancy. Likewise, Driver is strong in his role and almost too similar to his past characters. For both Stiller and Driver, character is important in their discovery of true identity and awareness. More or less, While We’re Young is presented as a bromance between leads Josh and Jamie. Watts and Seyfried have less to do than their male counterparts. However, both produce solid performances to create a soft and carefree tone to the film.
Ultimately, While We’re Young highlights the growth and journey of humanity – whether through a person’s own self or relationships – age is just a number and life is lived through authentic moments.
A likeable film with a lighthearted feel, While We’re Young is articulate and representative of today’s perception of relationships and self.
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