‘While We’re Young’
Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts
3 (out of 5) Globes
The filmmaker Noah Baumbach preys on the dreaded fears of a certain milieu. That milieu, mind you, is fairly specific: middle class, smartass urbanites from Generation X or thereabouts, and probably, though not exclusively, male. (“Frances Ha,” written with his star/paramour Greta Gerwig, was very much a Baumbach film for women, although with many of the same anxieties.) This crowd either sounds like the hyper-articulate quip-flingers from his debut, the post-collegiate-purgatorial “Kicking and Screaming,” or, more likely, think they do or aspire to same. And they also may have seen “Greenberg,” starring Ben Stiller as a mordantly funny total a—hole, as a warning sign: don’t mature, or at least procreate, and this bitter loner will, come middle age, be you.
Now there’s “While We’re Young,” which preys on a more general, though still specific, fear. Stiller’s Josh and Naomi Watts’ Cornelia are 40-somethings without children, and as such the very last of a dying breed: the ones who didn’t surrender to the siren song of the baby cult. Even their friend essayed by former Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz has embraced ugly shirts to play dad. To their rescue come 25-year-olds Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). Josh and Cornelia find themselves hooked on their new friends’ young stylings, ditching lame grown-up parties that end at 10 p.m. for Bushwick street bashes, as well as biking everywhere, taking snooty acid trips and wearing funny Brooklyn young person hats.