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'While We're Young': EW review

Posted on

Jon Pack

While We're Young

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B-

On its surface, Noah Baumbach’s latest comedy of New York manners is about a childless couple in their mid-40s (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) afraid of losing their youthful spontaneity who get rejuvenated by a pair of cool, twentysomething Brooklynites (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). But really, it’s Baumbach’s midlife-crisis movie. And it’s a rigged game. Stiller is a documentary filmmaker in a rut who’s seduced by Driver’s admiration and hipness. Hanging out with these ironic scenesters makes him and his wife feel young and edgy again. All of the obvious Brooklyn stereotypes are milked for laughs (retro fedoras, vinyl collections, artisanal ice cream). But after a while, the director of the more perceptive Frances Ha and The Squid and the Whale tips his hand, painting the aging Xers as guardians of integrity and the millennials as opportunists. It’s a cheap shot, and it feels like he’s telling the kids to get off his lawn. It’s not Stiller’s character who’s the curmudgeon, it’s Baumbach. B–

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