Posted Oct 28 2015

While We're Young - This Movie Rocks Hipsters!

Dir: Noah Baumbach

Starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried

Baumbach follows up his delightful Frances Ha with another look at the tragically hip (and another excellent burst of Bowie.) Only this time, the hipsters are the enemy in this wry look at the non-acceptance of middle age amongst those developing failing eyesight and arthritic knees.

Stiller and Watts are the fortysomethings, falling in with Driver and Seyfried’s more happening than thou twentysomethings. Both men are documentary filmmakers  - the younger one shooting every minute of the day, his elder unable to complete one film in ten years. The older couple see their inability to grow up in the younger; Driver, meanwhile, might just be a hat wearing manipulative git.

And then the rarely spotted Charles Grodin shows up – and you can’t help but smile. Or, more likely, laugh out loud.

Baumbach always appears to make slight films about lost people who express their inarticulation very well without ever really working out how to understand themselves. This is no exception. If anything, it’s more so than most. The big confrontation argues the case from both sides and never really decides which point of view it wants to espouse. It becomes a moral argument that is so uncertain of its own moral centre that is fails to make a valid point.

That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of fun to be had along the way. The four primary cast are all on top form. Stiller is now so adept at doing what he does best that it’s easy not to notice how good he is. But if anyone steals the show here it’s Watts, who has been doing some tremendous work lately in the likes of St Vincent and Birdman, and is simply fabulous here.

Plus Baumbach does not skimp on the jokes – this is a very funny film (probably funnier depending on which couple’s time frame you fall into.) Ultimately, it has little to say. But it does say that goatee beards and trilby hats are a very peculiar abomination of the modern age and it there is a God they will be no more after you see this film. And that’s something.


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