While We're Young (2014) Poster

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A mature, insightful look at aging and youth, undermined somewhat by an ill-advised detour into semi-thriller territory.
shawneofthedead7 April 2015
Getting older is an odd business. We know it happens to us, every day, every month, every year. And yet, it also sneaks up on us. Suddenly, we're the oldest people in the room, with the most out-of-date vocabulary, squinting and fussing when once we used to laugh and shrug it all off. Our zest for life is rapidly depleting, and time is running out. Writer-director Noah Baumbach's While We're Young is a wise, witty look at a couple caught in between generations - they're middle- aged, by any and all measures, but are still young enough to hear the siren call of reckless adventure and self-exploration. It's a shame that Baumbach's film winds up making a far less successful segue into the realm of a psychological semi-thriller.

Filmmaker Josh (Ben Stiller) has been in a state of arrested development for years. As his friends settle down with babies and careers, he's been making the same dense, complicated documentary for close to a decade, whilst his happy marriage to Cornelia (Naomi Watts) remains in the same gear as it has for ages. But Josh gains a new lease on life when he meets Jamie (Adam Driver) and his wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a free-spirited pair of twenty-something-year-olds who still sparkle with the possibilities of life, hope and renewal.

While We're Young is at its best when it makes thoughtful, sharp observations about aging. In the first half of the film, Josh rushes to keep up with his new young friends, dragging Cornelia along for the ride. Suddenly, they're shaken out of the rut of their lives, wearing jaunty hats, participating in mass spiritual retreats, and forcing their less flexible bodies into hip-hop classes. Baumbach skilfully juxtaposes this with Josh and Cornelia's increasing disenchantment with their old friends, Marina (Maria Dizzia) and Fletcher (Adam Horovitz), who are caught up in a frenzy of new baby worship. Baumbach's insights are nestled within his scenes and characters - tiny lines or moments will strike home for anyone who's felt out of place for age-related reasons.

What works less well is the moody semi-thriller (possibly titled Not Quite Single White Male) that Baumbach tries to graft onto his comedy about life and aging. It plays very well at first, as Jamie reveals himself to be - just like Josh - a documentarian, and one who - unlike Josh - seems to have everything work out perfectly at every step of the filmmaking process. It's a nice contrast, because it prompts Josh to keep questioning himself about whether he has, after all, squandered away his youth on something that was never meant to be.

However, Jamie's relationship with Josh takes on a more sinister tone as the film progresses. His intentions are called into question, with the shortcuts he takes and the friends he makes bordering on the questionable. It's good character work, to be sure, but ends up confusing rather than deepening the overall narrative. By the time Josh barrels toward an awkward showdown with Jamie, Baumbach seems to have forgotten the point he was making with the film in the first place.

Nonetheless, the film is a worthy vehicle for Stiller and Watts to really dig into their characters and relationship. It's nice to see Stiller really embrace a darker, deeper role that's not quite in his wheelhouse. He pulls it off very well indeed, lending great weight and an unexpected vulnerability to Josh's insecurities. Watts, too, relishes the part of Cornelia, one of the best-written roles in recent memory for a woman in her forties. The film may ultimately belong to Josh, but Watts' Cornelia isn't merely set dressing meant to evoke a life. She's a full-fledged person in her own right, tough and tender, with her own personal heartbreaks that make her the person we see in the film.

You wouldn't think it, given their wildly divergent career paths to date, but Stiller and Watts also share plenty of chemistry. He may be better known for comedy and she for drama, but it's evident here that they can each handle both with plenty of intelligence and polish. It's a delight, therefore, to watch them navigate the tapestry of their relationship, as Josh - fired by jealousy and paranoia - starts worrying at threads of it such that it begins to unravel before Cornelia's eyes. And yet, the fact that these two characters truly love and respect each other through it all is never in doubt.

Although While We're Young may not completely come together as a coherent whole, that doesn't detract from the quiet wonders of this smart, whimsical, bitingly real film. It's a pleasure to spend time with characters this real and rounded, to recognise in them the abandon of youth and the relative stability of age. In his offbeat way, Baumbach is warning us that trade-offs between the two may be less rigid than we have been taught to expect. Like the film itself, it's a welcome insight, one that's filled with both hope and maturity.
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A funny but uneven work about a character than can be irritating
rogerdarlington4 April 2015
It feels as if we're back in "Greenburg" territory with "While We're Young" made four years later, since we have the same writer and director (Noah Baumbach) and the same lead actor (Ben Stiller) playing a similar central character. This time, Stiller is Josh, married to Cornelia (Naomi Watts), a middle-aged married couple who find themselves hooking up with Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a couple in their twenties, who remind the older pair of the freshness and spontaneity of youth while he struggles professionally and she laments their inability to become parents.

The female roles are underwritten and, while Driver is good, this is really Stiller's film. The trouble is that he is such an irritating character, unable to complete a long-running project to produce a boring documentary and foolishly trying to recapture his lost youth. There are some funny scenes and situations, but this is an uneven work with a sequence at a hippy retreat proving particularly silly.
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A disappointing film
dbborroughs6 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Noah Baumbach's film concerning a documentary filmmaker and his wife who have lost their friends to the baby track is disappointing. The couple, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, meet up with a younger couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, re-spark their lives but questions creep in about what the younger couple is really after, and what is the right path in life.

To be honest the film is enjoyable on its own terms. It has laughs and is occasionally strangely moving.

The problem with the film is that the terms of the film are kind of messed up. The film has a big subtext concerning honesty in documentary films and a quest by Stiller's character to uncover what the Adam Driver character is doing- the problem is the film subverts it and throws it aside in the final minutes. The collapse begins when the Charles Grodin character, a respected documentary filmmaker makes a speech about integrity and then two minutes later says that everything he had just said (and said pretty much in the film up to that point) doesn't matter. Its a wtf moment that had myself and more than a few people in the audience at The New York Film Festival scratching our heads. The film's the collapse is kind of complete at the end of the film which is a kind of out of left field turn for the Watts and Stiller character. The ending kind of throws numerous plot lines aside and is a feel good moment that feels contrived.

When the film ended I was left confused. What was Baumbach going for?

After the NYFF screening someone in the audience asked Baumbach the questions I wanted to. He said that all that mattered was the final bit of the film. That was what he was going for and everything he was doing was for that. He also added that we shouldn't have paid any attention to the integrity/making a documentary stuff since he only put it in so that the Stiller character had something to do. We weren't suppose to have paid attention to that since that isn't what the film was about.


Without that the film really isn't about anything. Without it the film doesn't have a reason to be seen.

Truthfully I don't hate the film, I hate its construction. The film has moments and characters but its as morally bankrupt as the Adam Driver character.

A disappointing film
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judgejimp6 April 2015
I saw the trailers for this, thought it looked funny and i like Stiller so gave it a whirl. What a mistake! This is not the comedy the trailers made it out to be, they show the best bits and when it came to watching the whole film it fell flat. This film was trying to be an intellectual dark comedy, maybe in the vein of Woody Allen but lacked the style, sophistication and plot. The mid life crisis thing, done many times before but better, the role reversal with the oldies doing the social media thing and the younger couple living like hippie bohemians felt like an attempt to be clever but just didn't feel real. The whole moral conscience thing Stiller had was muddled because of the way the plot didn't really make out that anyone had done anything very much wrong. This was deliberate but made the whole morality issue just too subtle for the audience to care. At the end i couldn't care less whether they had a baby together or not and found it all very irritating. I know it was supposed to be allegorical and therefore clever but to me at least it was just badly done and a bit pretentious.
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Good start, but ends with mixed feelings
DrDarkness21 June 2015
5/10 might not seem like a good rating, but it's a strong 5. This movie is definitely worth seeing, but only if you're okay with mild disappointments and outdated "we can't be happy without having kids" Disney-like thinking.

Movie does indeed have a good start - Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts play their roles well and make lots of good points of how we can sometimes be unhappy with our past decisions and our lives. Movie also captures well how people change when they grow up; one ends up having kids, another focuses on his/her career or other things.

Sadly "While We're Young" doesn't grasp all that there could've been. The ending leaves you kinda sad/disappointed/with mixed feelings. To put it plainly; it doesn't deliver.
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Ben Stiller is more interesting when he is not playing slapstick characters.
TxMike31 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is an obvious story. When you are middle aged, i.e. in your 40s, you can get into a routine, a rut of sorts, with almost no excitement in your life. If you don't watch out. And when you do, and realize it, you need to do something.

The script demonstrates this cleverly near the beginning, the couple are settling into bed for the night, she turns on the bedside lamp to read, he squints a bit and muses that the light seems bright. "What is the wattage of that bulb." She looks, squints, "I think it is 75 watts but it is bright and I'm not sure." Only a long-term couple that has settled into a boring routine would have that exchange as if it mattered.

The couple are both 40-something actors Naomi Watts as Cornelia and Ben Stiller as Josh. They live in New York, naturally, have no children, he is a filmmaker working on his second documentary but seems stuck. He has hours of film, some good interviews, but is having trouble pulling it all together.

He is just finishing a lecture and at the end meets a younger couple, Adam Driver as Jamie and Amanda Seyfried as Darby. They are just the opposite, they are spontaneous, they seem to see life and the world around them as one big playground. And he is also working on a documentary.

As it turns out Jamie and Darby didn't meet Josh by accident, he was targeted. It raises some ethical issues, especially when it is discovered that much of Jamie's "documentary" was actually arranged. But through it all Josh and Cornelia learn some things about themselves and some ways to look at their lives in different ways.

A pretty entertaining movie, I always like Watts and I like Stiller when he is NOT playing some slapstick role, he is actually a very effective actor.

As an aside it was nice seeing Peter Yarrow as the oldtimer being interviewed, as Ira Mandelstam. Most are probably too young to remember the singing group "Peter, Paul and Mary", which rose to the top in the 1960s, but he is the "Peter" of the group. I saw them live in Houston in the 1980s, it is nice to see him still finding new things to do.
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Generational Outlook
billygoat107121 April 2015
While We're Young is mainly about comparing between two current generations. A typical comedy would normally make it a silly opposition about which one is better, but the movie doesn't make that as a conflict at all. The movie is more concerned on how its main characters acknowledge that they're at the point of a mid-life and finding a way ignore that by interacting a younger crowd. It's simply engaging stuff, almost devoid from the common comedy movie formula until the third act went through some climax that feels different from its more sincere setup, but even with that conventional turn, the film continues to be clever and sticks to its whole theme.

It starts with the childless main couple beginning to realize their age and almost makes a big deal about it until they discover how youth today actually live their lives after befriending with a younger couple and try to exchange each other's medium and lifestyle from the time they grew up with. The most typical way to treat this idea is to aim their new behavior for laughs or go against the other generation, but the movie rather takes it simple by just having them tag along with both of their interests. It may not be too sensational, but it gives a pleasantly charming feel within those interactions. There is still a sense of division between the generations, like how their peers couldn't relate to their new appeal. It kind of jokes about how odd cultures have gone, but the movie doesn't want to be too critical about it either and remains understanding both sides, anyway.

There is also a side story that involves their work as filmmakers of documentary and the movie still explores its main idea by showing how even the ethics of their industry have changed. And this leads to a third act that often exists in generic comedies, but the movie doesn't take those sequences as a punchline. Though, most of that part feels like it's shifting into a whole new topic, but as it turns out, it actually tries to build up a more reasonable contrast between the perspectives of the young and the old. When you think it's going to be in a clichéd direction, it's the writing that keeps things authentic. The acting are thoroughly natural on what they do. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts are as likable as always, while Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried bring the charm in their characters.

While We're Young is pretty likable, even when it leads to a weirdly contrived conclusion, but either way, it still works, thanks to its genuinely charming performances and smart writing that has the right intention. The characters are rather fascinated at these hobbies and things that are popular from each other's generations, than making it a serious competition for themselves. But it still concerns at a person's mindsets and change of attitude due to age, which somehow becomes the actual conflict of the story. In the end, it finds a good heart anyway, and it's quite interesting to just see the distinction, but also the similar appeal between these featured generations.
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Ultimately a disappointment
mattyhowe-36-48410229 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film you always feel could be good and should be good by ultimately disappoints.

There are two main plot lines running through the movie.

1) - 40 somethings getting older reaching an inflection point in their lives. To baby or not to baby, to relive youth or not to relive youth whilst they in theory still can and the relationships along the way.

2 - A plot line about the production of films by the two main male characters, Josh (stiler) and Jamie (driver).

The first of the two plot line is engaging and sometime funny, relatable and has potential.

The second plot line is utterly banal, pointless, emotionless and does not for one second make you care what happens to the outcome or really worthy of any air time.

This is the film's major flaw. There is not real direction to the movie, there is no real engagement and thrust. If anything the plot line about the film undoes all of the good work that the 40 something conundrum attempts to do.
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You Must Make Babies!
leftbanker-122 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This could have been a lot better but just had to go the road more traveled. In the end they make it out like it's wrong for people in their 40s to even try to be remotely different than all the breeders around them. Well here's news for you: older people without children often have infinitely more interesting lives than those saddled with kids.

Why does every couple have to reproduce…at least according to Hollywood? This is rather ironic seeing that Hollywood folks quite often lead disastrous personal lives with three and four separate families in their wake.

The story was of the young couple meeting up with the middle aged couple was fun. Just because I'm an old man doesn't mean that I can't be cool, and cool has nothing to do with appearances like some retarded hat or a beard. Cool definitely isn't hip hop. Cool is having an original thought.

Once again another move closes with the creators not having the slightest idea of an ending so they go for the done-to-death finale of the couple deciding that, yes, what they really want is a baby. How about if they just went off to Paris together liked they talked about earlier? Or would than make them selfish?
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stubbornpanda11 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
When you are above 35 you kinda look forward to seeing something that might challenge the way everything has already been presented to you repeatedly. It doesn't even have to be revolutionary. But with this film you realise you have just sat through another movie where you got served everything just as before. The mundane couple who have just had a child, acting bewildered in the presence of people "of a certain age" that don't. Josh and Cornelia defending their childless state, and for a second you think hm...where could this go..Nowhere interesting as it turns out. Just like most other mainstream films they do not have kids as a result of a traumatic physical problem - and not because they have chosen to (but we can all breathe a sigh of relief, they succumb in the end). So nothing new here. Cornelias hip hop class, Josh getting a "crazy"hat, all from hanging out with people in their mid 20s...and the slight awkwardness they display around them, sigh...how many times do we have to sit through age difference being spelled out in the same way? It is almost like every age group have to identify with these stereotypical differences ....and if you don't...then I just don't know (".") jeez. I am sure there was a message in the film but the mediocrity unfortunately drowned out everything else.
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This film was boring and cluttered but had good ideas.
IanAJohnson20 April 2015
While We're Young is primarily about a middle-aged couple that meets a younger couple and becomes infectiously addicted to their lifestyle. It is also a commentary on the implied truthfulness of documentaries, the gap of generational habits, changing social protocols and many more topics that I probably missed. This is a very difficult film to review. There is a reason that I wait a day or two after seeing a movie before writing a review on it and movies like this are why. It is necessary to let the small details sink in and to digest them for a while before spitting out an opinion. First of all, the characters are well written and feel like real people. They are flawed and yet somewhat likable. Their problems are real and their reactions to these problems are realistic, too. It is very easy to relate to the problems that the older couple goes through because they are problems that most people have gone through or will go through at some point in their lives. The story starts off well enough and the mingling of these couples is interesting to watch but the biggest problem with the film is its organization of the events that follow. Events just happen in a seemingly random order and the importance of these events is questionable at best. There are enough ideas in this film to fill two or three others; but the problem with that is that there is little focus. The focus changes so often that I am often bored by seemingly random and filler dialogue before I realize that this dialogue is important to some commentary about the human condition that doesn't need to be in the film and had nothing to do with the previous focal points. There is a point in the movie were a character critiques a film by saying that it was boring, too long, and that there were lots of topics that, while interesting, did not need to be there. That is my exact opinion of While We're Young. It is true that there are many interesting arcs that go into the plot. The issue is that there is no overarching one that carries the audience through them. Calling them arcs might be misleading. Most are more like slopes that just go up and end without resolution and those that do come down and resolve do so unsatisfyingly. The depictions of the younger generation (typically hipsters) are so over-exaggerated that it can take you out of it. While this film claims to be a comedy, it isn't very funny. I chuckled more at the over-the-top oddness of the hipsters than I did at any joke. There is a ten minute scene full of people tripping on hallucinogens and puking in trashcans that tried to be funny, but just came off as uncomfortable and disgusting. The film has many good ideas, very few, if any, are fully realized or properly presented. However, to keep a clean conscious, I cannot give this movie an absolutely terrible rating because it tried to bring up topics that are somewhat tabooed by modern society and did spawn a couple heated debates and conversations afterward. A movie that tried to do something new and failed is more honorable than a film that tried something generic and failed.
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Relatable and hilarious -- like a highbrow "This Is 40"
nedkotte28 February 2015
After seeing the trailer for While We're Young last week I was reminded what a wonderful and smart comedy this is. It was my favorite movie from TIFF last year, and one of Baumbach's best.

Anyone over 40 will relate to Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts), a married couple in a rut. It's that painful experience of realizing that you've grown up without even trying to, and it's hard to see what's still possible when your body is reminding you that half of your life is already behind you. Baumbach is able to turn this experience into a hilarious and heartwarming story, and that is no small feat. It's serious stuff.

I remember his debut feature Kicking and Screaming as a seminal movie of my 20s. If you've seen it, you might have the same feeling watching While We're Young that I did. It was like I'd watched Noah Baumbach grow up through his films and characters. I suspect if you watched all his movies in sequence it would be quite powerful. Maybe Noah Baumbach is due for a retrospective titled "Manhood" ??

Highly recommend seeing this. Performances are excellent across the board. Charles Grodin is a living legend!
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The script felt so rigid to be called a comedy and so not intriguing to be called a Drama,, kinda expected much from such cast..
Aktham_Tashtush19 June 2015
Gosh it went a full on talk and talk until the last 20 minutes where Josh finds the whole plot Jamie was sewing and things got really a bit interesting and intriguing .. The plot is nice , the idea is okay for a movie a middle age couple being affected by a hipster cooler one kinda stole my interest when i watched the trailer other that seeing "Ben Stiller" in it,, The script though felt so rigid and not quite easy to understand what's the story is truly about a happy ending presented in the last five minutes just popped like that ... i think it needs a deep thinkers to get what's really going on in here. The comedy was so wiped out by the drama , a couple of scenes where i was about to giggle but it went in,, the drama was just not that catchy ,, like i would watch the movie over three days pausing it in any minute.

As for the cast; well Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver and i really expected A lot from such amazing cast but i believe with such screenplay they couldn't patch the holes that the movie slow and not quite appealing.

Overall, the movie didn't leave any remarkable effect on me, i would ever think of watching it again and sure i wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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A Weak "So What?" plot
danew1311 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I can't see While We're Young any higher than a five and not even that high at the box office. The story was sort of derivative of the 60s, a mild romantic comedy about artsy people which would have probably had more direction and pizazz had Ben Stiller been directing.

Even though it's always a pleasure to see Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried, this film wasn't one of their finer outing. Not that their acting was sub standard, the script was...it really didn't go anywhere and at the end you still don't know where Stiller and Watts' characters get their money...with Stiller as a non productive documentary film maker.

At the end of it you may ask yourself, "Why did I watch this?" I can see why this wasn't a big hit, as it could have been with a decent script.
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Rather smug and self-satisfied non-comedy about people who aren't very likable
neil-47610 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Josh and Cornelia, in their early forties, find themselves becoming estranged from their best friends with their new baby, become drawn to twenty-somethings Jamie and Darby, especially when Jamie is complimentary about Josh's past documentary work (Josh is currently bogged down in a documentary he has been working on for 10 years). Jamie and Darby begin to exercise influence over Josh and Cornelia, especially when Jamie's ideas on documentary-making come to the fore.

This Noah Baumbach film, with Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried as the four main characters, is getting a lot of good, positive comments. I'm here to add a little lemon juice to take the edge off the overriding sweetness.

Billed and trailered as a comedy, this is another case of false advertising. I don't deny that there are some amusing moments, but this is mostly a fairly acidic drama, centering around the bromance between the principled but naive (and also driven but not naturally co-operative) Josh, and Jamie – much more aware, socially capable, but also duplicitous and self-serving while pretending not to be. Neither are particularly pleasant characters.

When the film has something to say about the difficulties associated with accepting that one is ageing, there are some decent truths on show, entertainingly delivered with some amusing social commentary.

Then there is the documentary making aspect – subplot, if you will - of the film. Baumbach is apparently on record as saying that this doesn't really matter – if so, he shouldn't have let it overpower two thirds of his movie, because one is left with the impression that it does matter. And it is not a (sub)plot which fills the viewer – this one, at any rate – with much satisfaction.

The performances are good (especially Watts), albeit Stiller gives us yet another variation on his mildly uptight, overwrought persona. But I came away feeling that this film probably delivered much more for those in front of the camera than for those in the audience.
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Sort of obnoxious
Red_Identity9 June 2015
So I get what the film was aiming for, but I've gotta say, I'm incredibly shocked by its critical reception. I don't think it's "bad", really, but just thoroughly mediocre and really obnoxious. I don't know why, but something about it came off so incredibly forced and fake. It has some good acting and none of it is offensive or anything, but something about it annoyed me in a way I can't really pinpoint. I love Naomi Watts, but she was part of the problem. There just wasn't any synchrony between the performers I don't think. Either that or between their performances and the tone the film was aiming for. I'm perplexed because none of it I can really put my finger on, except that there is absolutely nothing of real note or anything that will be memorable even a day after watching it (well, that's not true, since I saw it a day ago). Not worth it
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The Logline was (likely) a lot better than the actual film
A_Different_Drummer11 June 2015
I am imagining that the logline when this was initially pitched was something like "This is 40 with deeper, darker, insights." Or something.

And on paper that sounds really cool. The casting is also great, at least on paper. Plus, as we all know, Woody Allen has shown that these sorts of films can find an audience, and make money.

So on paper this was pure magic.

In real life? Not so much.

1. First, let's stop giving Woody Allen credit for inventing these sorts of films. He actually revived what used to a form of stage play called "comedies of Manners" and more or less built a second (spectacular) a career on that. This is a comedy of Manners. No more and no less.

2. Naomi Watts is solid, as is Seyfried. Ben Stiller, one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, seems a little lost here, as though he can't quite find the right note for his character. Plus -- the casting director should have noticed -- he has a prematurely aged face, that is, he always looks older than he is. That does not help his character, or the audience, at all.

3.The pacing is not merely bad, it is terrible. The dialog and story in this specific comedy of Manners are not sharp enough to carry the viewer through the slow bits. Plus, it does not help that Stiller's character, who plays a "failed film-maker," loves to rhapsodize about how "boring films eventually get interesting." If that was an inside joke, it is in bad taste.

4. The only "fun" bit in the entire film? At the 1:00 minute mark precisely, Naomi Watts mimics her Russian character from Saint Vincent. I smiled. That was the only smile the movie offered.

5. In the opinion of this reviewer, the entire overlong and convoluted sub-arc about the nature of film and documentaries (what is real, what is staged? etc) must have seemed clever during the first draft, sort of a Joss Whedonesque deconstruction of the medium (like Cabin in the Woods) but, as the film plays, it simply drags down deeper a story which is already drowning in its own self-awareness and navel-gazing.
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James_De_Bello10 July 2015
A mess from almost all points of view. Ideas, comedy, drama, everything seems to have a hard time in coming out of "While We're Young" and while deep down you can feel a lot of it is heartfelt, the actual final result is something that at times even edges being insulting.

It's surprising how a film that actually does not have a dramatic core and doesn't know what story it is trying to tell had even some success in it. I confidently attribute that to Seyfried, Watts and Stiller because without to the talents of these A-list actors I think this film could have been one of the worse of the years. Such a disappointment. Adam Driver is absolutely terrible in the film and even worse is the character he is given to play, whom actually reflects the chaos of the film. It just takes turns that are completely useless and out of nowhere and have nothing to say or further the story. It does not make a point on absolutely anything and worst of all it examines situations, regarding them as absolutely usual, that are simply weird and unrelatable. The approach it has to young and old is so stereotypical it is really insulting the intelligence of an audience and makes on of the most complex aspect of life seem two dimensional. Furthermore the comedy has maybe two good moments and for the rest looks like 1950s television gags.

Yet, as I said before the three good performances of the movie manage to regularly come in and pick up what is going on and make it palatable and this is also thanks to three characters that actually feel rounded and coherent opposed to Driver's one. Despite the mess of ideas there are some that are thrown out that managed to stick for some time and spark a reflection even if they were very superficial. Moreover there is nothing that is so bad it got me steaming, stuff just happens and sometimes it's watchable, sometimes it's dull and unconvincing and some others it is actually bad, but never terrible for me to get angry, with the exception of Driver's performance that in two or three moments actually sparked my anger.

A major disappointment for me being a very loyal fan of all the actors involved and having a good spot for the director.
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Baumbach breathes new life into mainstream comedy
Render-stetson28 February 2015
While We're Young shines in every aspect: Brilliantly directed, charmingly witty, and performed with graceful ease by it's leading actors. Stiller and Watts have found a delightful chemistry here, and the scenes they share brim with convincing self-awareness and sharp comedic timing, opposite Driver and Seyfried, the wide-eyed twenty somethings who are reminders of a fleeting youth. Baumbach has found a new tempo: Not the jazz of Frances Ha, nor the low, blue notes of Greenberg, but an upbeat, yet real glance into the crises of middle-aged life nostalgic for an earlier time. A must see, hilarious adventure about generations at odds, the search for artistic validation, and finding oneself at any age.
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brilliant and great Adam Driver
SnoopyStyle9 January 2016
Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia Schrebnick (Naomi Watts) are a childless married couple in their 40s. He's a documentarian struggling to complete his movie for the last 10 years. She's unsatisfied working for her famed-documentarian father Leslie Breitbart (Charles Grodin). Their friends are having babies but they had tried and failed themselves. Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby Massey (Amanda Seyfried) are a young hip couple who approaches Josh in his class. Soon, the Schrebnicks are pulled into their world.

I love the sharp jabs launched at Josh's expense. That may annoy some people who are uncomfortable with the awkward truths being poked at. All four leads are doing amazing work. Adam Driver is the big difference. Noah Baumbach is at his sharpest up to this date. It's hilarious that he does throw-up humor in this.
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I liked it better under its original title, "Broadcast News"
db-beurylaw7 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe you've heard this story before. The protagonist is giving a lecture on ethics and sticking totally to the truth when reporting facts. The class derisively wanders out, leaving just a stranger who was enthralled by the talk. The protagonist and stranger become close and work together. Some humorous events take place. But they the protagonist finds out that the Stranger deviated from the facts in a minor way, but this is an ethical violation that cannot be tolerated and they end their relationship. Remember it? It was Broadcast News and it was a far better movie. Here, Ben Stiller plays Josh a documentary film maker who is so dedicated that he has been working on the same film for eight years. Adam Driver plays Jaimie, a talented young film maker who's willing to cut a few corners to make a quick and successful film. When Josh finds out that Jaimie did not have a personal relationship with the subject of his film, it ends their bromance. The problem is Holly Hunter and William Hurt were a lot more interesting and the comedic moments a lot more fun. This is especially true at the climactic scene where Josh disrupt a dinner party with his tirade about Jaimie's ethical deviation. Stiller's Josh went into hysterics, while Holly Hunter was authoritative. You were impressed with Hunter's ethics. You thought Stiller's character was a twit. Ever heard of praise in public and discipline in private? Rent Broadcast News, it's the same film done better.
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Does not add up to an experience that feels real
howard.schumann12 April 2015
Now 44, childless, arthritic, and stuck in career limbo, Josh Svebnick (Ben Stiller, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty") has the good sense to realize that life is passing him by. Though Josh and his wife Cornelia (Naomi Watts, "St. Vincent") are okay with not having children (after several miscarriages), they feel disconnected from their friends who have kids. Set in Brooklyn, New York, While We're Young, Noah Baumbach's ("Frances Ha") latest bittersweet comedy is less abrasive than his previous films, but far from being a tribute to the human condition. Though not as angry and unpleasant as Roger Greenberg in Baumbach's 2010 film "Greenberg," Ben Stiller's Josh is hardly the picture of aliveness.

His self-esteem, shaky to begin with, takes a further hit when his filmmaker father-in-law Leslie Breitbart (Charles Grodin, "The Humbling") criticizes a six-and-a-half-hour documentary that he has been trying to finish for ten years. Breitbart tells him that it's "a six-and-a-half-hour film that's seven hours too long," leaving Josh to complain that the only emotions he has left are "wistful and disdainful." Josh and Cornelia, however, see in Jamie Massy (Adam Driver, "Tracks") and his girlfriend Darby (Amanda Seyfried, "Les Misérables"), a young couple that embodies the youthful energy that eludes them.

Josh's relationship with Jamie begins promisingly. Feeling flattered by Jamie labeling everything he says as "beautiful," Josh agrees to help him with the documentary he is making, a decision he comes to rue. Jamie seems to fit Baumbach's picture of what "hipsterism" should look like. He uses a manual typewriter, collects vinyl records, rides his bike all over the city, disdains technology and social media, and talks in hipster lingo. To feel like one of the in-crowd, Josh wears a hat and rides a bike, while Cornelia does her part with dancing and exercising to rap music.

The hipster thing goes overboard, however, when Josh and Cornelia agree to take part in an Ayahuasca ceremony led by an alleged shaman. Baumbach's view of these proceedings seems to be that vomiting is the most important part of the process. Needless to say, there is no hint as to what the experience may really be like beyond the media-driven "Me generation" stereotypes. Josh's partnership with Jamie soon begins to show strains, when Josh learns that Jamie used his film subjects - father-in-law Breitbart and History Professor Ira Mandelstam (Peter Yarrow) for his own personal film project. Josh views this, not as simple ambition or opportunism but as an example of the moral bankruptcy of today's youth.

At a Lincoln Center dinner honoring Breitbart, the film brings up the issue of how documentaries have manipulated the truth to enhance their entertainment value, but it goes off on a tangent that ultimately conveys contradictory messages and a contrived ending. Without doubt, While We're Young is a very entertaining film. As in the typical Baumbach experience, there is an abundance of irritating characters, the requisite number of clever one-liners (some even funny), snippets of redundant baroque music, and extensive use of foul language.

Unfortunately, however, this time it does not add up to an experience that feels real. While we all deal with the loss of our youth differently, the film's facile conflict between middle-age and youth is overly calculated and is not illuminated by the suggestion that energy and enthusiasm are a function of age rather than of taking responsibility for our life and using our power to transform it – at any moment in time.
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cafealcognac14 June 2015
This movie is a waste of time. I regret having wasted 90 minutes of my life watching this thing. Many people think they're gonna be considered cool by saying that it's a great movie, with a great director and great acting. Poor them...it sucked all the time. I'll be asking myself Why did I watch this movie all week. It's extremely boring. I hated it. I don't understand what's with the middle age crisis thing, and why anybody wants to make a movie THIS bad about it. Even this site wants people to write LONG reviews about movies...Why?!?!?! Please, don't watch it. It's boring, unexciting, long (even been 90 minutes long). It'd be more than enough with 25 minutes.
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Shades of Woody Allen
Melissaslist29 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Really enjoyed this movie. Funny, original, and thought provoking. There was a conversation between Josh (Stiller) and his father in law played by the awesome Charles Grodin about how movies (documantaries actually)about how they have many layers and I felt this movie was that way.

The story of a middle aged couple bored with life and each other trying to justify the fact that they don't have kids with the cliché fantasy of being able to fly off to Europe at a moments notice which of course they never do. They encounter a much younger couple who seems to embody everything that is precious, pure and unspoiled about youth. This is exaggerated by the fact that ironically despite the face that they were raised in the age of social media somehow they are completely unaffected by texted, emailing, googling and facebook. They make their own furniture, their own furniture, have an entire wall of vinyl records, appreciate Lionel Richie and seamlessly can tap into all the cool stuff that came far before their time. That's cool!!! Josh and his wife of course are completely mesmerized by their youth, vitality and bohemian lifestyle which seems so much more authentic than that of their close friends who they quickly begin to eschew and alienate because of their new found wisdom/fountain of youth. When Josh's doctor tells him he has arthritis he incredulously laughs this off trying to correct his doctor asking him if perhaps he has a different KIND of arthritis; one that younger people get. The doctors reaction, is stone faced and priceless.

Josh, who is a documentary filmmaker and has been working on the same project for an absurd amount of time (10 years) is reinvigorated by his new friendships with Jamie and Darby, most of all by how they seem to embody truth and profound wisdom. This is sort of the theme of his documentary and he feels that this missing piece can hopefully finally enable to finish his project. There's a great scene when the four of them try to come with a word to describe something and none of them can remember the word. Just whips out his phone to look it up and Jamie says "no! Let's just not know" and smiles and they all resign themselves to be OK with not knowing. Josh is completely hooked. His aha moment of all that is wrong with the world, society, technology, his life...and how he can fix it.

But of course nothing is ever as it seems and slowly but surely he starts to realize that epiphanies no matter how earth shattering they may seem can be fleeting and that no matter how wonderful a new person or influence in your life may seem and how sure you are that they seem to have the keys to the kingdom if you dig a little deeper you might be setting yourself up for an even bigger let down.

Great story. Enjoyed thoroughly.
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A boring movie .... keep for those Xtra Lazy Weekends!
aparnakishen28 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Well, the fact that I regard the movie to be stacked for a barren weekend means I found it watchable indeed. Good actors in the lead and good direction. But that apart it was irritating script n story. Not even one dialogue that stays with you. Does turning 30+ or spilling into 40 make people desperate ... common ... people earn those yrs and such scripts are over used and over dramatic unless there is a real good plot at heart. The character Jamie played by Adam Driver was ill conceived as it was so full of over gestures and goodness that it stinks from the beginning. Maybe a tad bit character development there would have made it all digestible. The movie is maligned by typical scenes of reel world - people with kids going la la crazy - youth finding solace in drug induced trance and silly religious acts - drug induced kissing! So if u have run out of options for ur weekend, maybe give this movie a watch.......
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