While We're Young

2015-07-16 15:04

What it's about:

Middle-aged couple Josh and Cornelia find their world is turned upside-down when a disarming young couple - Jamie and Darby  - enters their lives.As Josh and Cornelia begin to spend time with Jamie and Darby, they find the younger spirits inside of themselves, and soon begin to look at life, marriage and the world through younger eyes.

What we thought:

In this generational gap dramedy, Generation X and Generation Y collide.

Middle aged documentarian Josh (Ben Stiller) is coasting through life. He’s been working on a documentary for nine years and it’s just not going anywhere.

His relationship with his wife, Cornelia (Naomi Watts), a documentary producer who also happens to be the daughter of a prominent documentarian, Leslie Breitbart (Charles Grodin), has reached the comfortable stage.

They appear to be happy with their lives and relationship and their decision to not have children, but underneath there is a longing for something.

When Josh meets 20 something hipster couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), he is totally enamoured by them when after a lecture Jamie basically ‘does a fangirl’ on him.

Jamie is a wanna-be documentarian and Darby dabbles in entrepreneurship (she makes her own ice cream) - they live a kind of 90s throwback life: they still play and record on VHS, their means of transport are bicycles, they have an enviable collection of vinyls and aren’t really hooked on technology and the digital world as many people their age.

Cornelia is originally hesitant about the pair but they grow on her very soon. They also meet at a time when Josh and Cornelia’s closest friends have become new parents, and for a while it does seem like they have more in common with the younger pair. I mean, would you go on a holiday with people your age and their screaming toddlers or do a mushroom induced cleansing ceremony?

When Jamie has this great idea for a documentary, Josh offers to help him and when Jamie’s career starts to take flight Josh is not too happy. It causes him to reflect on his own unsuccessful project and brings his entire life, up until then, under the microscope.

There’s a lot going on in this film and there are many themes explored throughout: ageing, success, the truth of representation in documentaries and how to ‘authentically’ tell someone’s story.

I think what I mostly struggled with is that there isn’t one character I really liked. I can’t fault the acting though.

Ben Stiller does a good enough job as the central figure as he gives a believable portrayal of the anxieties of ageing, the meaning of success and holding onto ‘lofty’ idealisms.

Noami Watts as his partner gels well  - her not having any children is the struggle she faces, that said, she is merely  a supporting role for Ben’s character though.

Adam Driver does a really good job at playing Jamie. You realise very early in the film that he’s actually a big fraud and very sly combined with the arrogance of youth.

Amanda Seyfried plays the daft Darcy quite well but it’s merely just for show too. Maybe it’s a generation Y thing though, everyone is merely just playing a ‘character.’

Overall there are some really funny moments and the movie is an OK watch, but there is no real conclusion which in the end feels like you’ve just wasted almost two hours.

Read more on:    amanda seyfried  |  ben stiller  |  naomi watts  |  movies

Tinus Oosthuizen 2015/07/19 01:17
I thought there was an obvious conclusion, and I think the movie culminated quite well. The conclusion: Yes, the generation Y's are largely stereotyped as a bunch of hipsters who flourish on their narcissistic delusions of authenticity - basically a bunch of kids who were conditioned to being instantly gratified and have now become young adults who put up a facade of authenticity and value, but really value nothing, as things change so quickly. This is in contrast to Ben Stiller's character, who is at first infatuated by the allure of the spontaneity of his nee young friends, but soon realises that there is value in learning to appreciate things... But the movie doesn't leave you with a 'feel good kick', because it doesn't force you to pick sides and root for your winner - Ben Stiller might look like the winner, but Adam Driver hits home with many of his 'traits' and devious attempts at achieving success at all costs.
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