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Film Review: An Age Range of Human Conditions in ‘While We’re Young’

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CHICAGO – We’re born, we’re nurtured, we seek purpose and we die. In between there are a million decisions between the words of that opening sentence, and writer/director Noah Baumbach understands that intuitively in his great new film, “While We’re Young.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Utilizing two married couples at different points in their lives, Baumbach shapes a story that is more that a midlife crisis for a fortysomething couple, and maneuvers toward different paths in both ends of that couple spectrum. Like Baumbach did in the film ‘Greenberg,’ he gives a role to Ben Stiller that plays into the actor’s strengths, without devolving into what makes Stiller annoying. The casting is very precise, with hot actor Adam Driver the anchor for many of the situations. You can’t go home again, especially if the “home” is youth, because it’s difficult to repeat being 25 years old if your life experience knows better.

Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are in their forties, and childless. They are best friends with a couple who has had their first baby, and because of the birth the common interests between them begin to wane. At the same time, a married couple in their twenties – Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) – come into Josh and Cornelia’s lives. The spark of energy that these free spirits put into the older couple is immediate.

Josh is a documentary filmmaker, and finds out that Jamie also dabbles in that form. Josh has been working on a project for years, while Jamie finds some legs on his film and starts to surpass Josh. This also reopens a rift between Josh and his filmmaker father-in-law Leslie (Charles Grodin), and starts to affect the relationship between Josh and his wife. The clash of the generations becomes personal, and life changing for all.

“While We’re Young” continues its limited release in Chicago on April 3rd. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watt, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Dree Hemingway, Charles Grodin and Peter Yarrow. Written by directed by Noah Baumbach. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘While We’re Young”

Naomi Watts, Ben Stiller
Cornelia (Naomi Watts) and Josh (Ben Stiller) in ‘While We’re Young’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘While We’re Young”

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