DVD Review: While We’re Young

He’s not evil, he’s just young.”

What’s worse? Being boring and middle-aged, or insufferable and twentysomething? That’s the central question in Noah Baumbach’s latest observational comedy, “While We’re Young.”

As with all of Baumbach’s films, the main characters are all narcissistic jerks, and the audience is asked to root for the character it can stand the most.

Ben Stiller (in a semi-serious role) and Naomi Watts star as Josh and Cornelia, a married fortysomething couple who befriend a pair of 25-year-old hipsters when people their own age start to grow up and have children. They tried and failed to have children several times, and have vowed to give it up.

Josh is a documentary filmmaker who has been working on a nebulous and nonsensical project about for nearly a decade, and teaches a continuing education course at night. One night after his class, Josh is approached by aspiring filmmaker Jamie and his wife Darby, who claim to be fans of his work.

After a double date, Josh and Cornelia are revived by Jamie and Darby’s energy and spirit, and start to hang out with them regularly. Josh finds Jamie endearing, and Darby keeps Cornelia company as they bond over the stupidity of having children.

Josh and Cornelia become enamored with the young couple’s Brooklyn-chic way of life. They go to hip hop class, wear fedoras, bike ride through crowded New York City streets (which gets cut short by Josh’s arthritis), and attempt enlightenment by drinking a hallucinogen at a cult-like gathering. Josh and Cornelia stop seeing their old friends and believe they relate more to a couple of kids two decades younger.

But the friendship starts to unravel when Josh becomes jealous of Jamie’s documentary, which is well-received by Cornelia’s father, a lauded documentarian who never cared much for Josh or his work.

Soon, Jamie’s shiny, vintage veneer starts to wear off, and the truth about how he found his documentary subject and why he befriended Josh comes out.

Josh and Cornelia begin to realize that 25 may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

The dialogue in “While We’re Young” is often sharp and subtly hilarious, but wears thin at times. You may feel the urge to reach into the screen and knock some sense into each of these characters.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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