As one grows older in life, we have a tendency to reminisce about our youth. How we glided through without a care in the world, our bodies un-riddled from arthritis, a mane of hair that would make the king of the jungle green with envy and rock hard bodies that could withstand many sleepless nights.
Instead of embracing old age, we live in a culture that is obsessed with staying young…by any means necessary and avoid being with our peers as they are a constant reminder of where we are now instead of when we were young.
Right off the heels of his hysterical debut with co-writer Greta Gerwig at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with Mistress America, Noah Baumbach is at it again with Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in When We’re Young.
With the tagline…”Life Never Gets Old”, Baumbach introduces us to a middle aged couple whose career and marriage are tuned upside down when they encounter a free-wheeling manipulative younger couple. That’s when the games begin.
The audience witnesses how Cornelia (Naomi Watts) and Josh (Ben Stiller) are bored with the routine of their life, friends and career until they literally become and enlightened by Darby (Amanda Seyfried) and Jamie (Adam Driver — who ironically bears an uncanny resemblance to Baumbach).
Amanda Seyfried is turning out to be a real acting chameleon. Maybe that Meryl Streep technique rubbed off of her when they starred in Mamma Mia a few years back. Because since Mamma Mia, she has been Cossette in Les Mis and Linda Lovelace. Watch out Jennifer Lawrence…Amanda is trying to steal your crown and she practically succeeds in the role of Darby.
Stiller and Watts characterizations took me back to the days in the old Woody Allen films where he co-starred with ex-wife Mia Farrow. They bring the perfect blend of crazy, vulnerability and cockiness to Josh and Cornelia which makes the whole film just click.
However, the standout for me was Adam Driver as Jamie. Jamie is cunning, complex, empathetic and un-sympathetic all at the same time, which makes him extremely compelling to watch.
While We’re Young is relatable to anyone in that middle age slump of feeling like they may have missed something in their youth and finally realizing that the natural evolution of life is not so bad. Growing older comes with complacency, but it also comes with courage and wisdom that can’t be replaced.