A film for adults, Baumbach creates another acerbic, finely written comedy/drama set in New York. Targeted directly at the forty and over demographic, it speaks to the generation that suddenly find youth has passed them by without them realising it. I can relate. While We’re Young shows Baumbach is a kindler, gentler mode than his previous collaboration with Stiller, 2010s Greenberg.
Stiller and Watts showing great chemistry together play a childless couple in their forties realising their youthful spark has recently abandoned them. It doesn’t help that Josh (Stiller) has spent the past eight years working on a documentary with serious continuity and editing issues. His partner Cornelia (Watts) produces her acclaimed father’s (Charles Grodin) documentaries, which seems to annoy Josh. One day Josh meets, Jamie (Driver) and Darby (Seyfried) in his film class. Jamie is an up and coming documentarian, and Darby makes ice cream. Soon the two couples become fast friends, Having friends with kids is not an option for Josh and Cornelia, which annoys Maria and Fletcher who have recently welcomed a newborn into their home. But bringing the generations together also has it pitfalls particularly as Josh realises Jamie is more calculating and ambitious than first impressions revealed.
At a brisk 97 minutes Baumbach keeps the proceedings fast paced and mostly engrossing, It's a pleasure to watch the gifted Stiller flex his acting muscle in a more challenging role. His growing exasperation at the lack of ethics of the current generation of filmmakers is fun to watch. Watts has a ball, the hip hop exercise class is a riot, a drug induced weekend retreat replete with drugs and vomit buckets has to be seen to be believed. Driver continues his rise to be one of the best young American actors working today.
My personal Baumbach favourite is 2005s The Squid and the Whale, ten years later he is still making relevant, intelligent cinema.