As we’ve discussed before, Hollywood has a tendency to make marriage look like a terrible prison of discontent, one that inevitably leads to tawdry affairs and/or violent deaths. So it’s always delightful to see a movie that makes matrimony look even remotely appealing—a project that’s, if nothing else, tentatively hopeful about the state of lifelong coupledom. Enter While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach’s latest, centering on—what else?—neurotic New Yorkers of disparate age groups. This time, Baumbach’s zooming in on Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, who play an artsy, childless 40-something couple that’s happily married, if not a little bit bored and perturbed by the fact that they never fly to Paris on a whim (but seem to deal with it better than Meg Ryan and Steven Ford in When Harry Met Sally).
As any neurotic city-dweller knows, the best cure for boredom is befriending a pair of attractive hipsters who remind you of your mortality and rapidly fleeting youth. Nothing like a low-key midlife crisis to kickstart the rest of your life! For Ben and Naomi’s Josh and Cornelia Srebnick, that sweet, sweet relief comes in the form of Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a staggeringly good-looking, Portlandia-esque pair of 25-year-olds who are, according to the synopsis, “spontaneous and untethered, ready to drop everything in pursuit of their next passion.”
Seduced by Jamie and Darby’s fresh, youthful outlook on life and propensity for fedoras, Josh and Cornelia murder them and drink their blood under a full moon, becoming immortal. No, they ditch their “adult” friends and start doing crazy shit, like taking hip-hop dance classes and hallucinatory drugs. Through it all, though, Josh and Cornelia seem to bond rather than fall apart, which is refreshing—I feel like lesser directors would insert some kind of nightmarish foursome scene.
Try to watch the new trailer—which is chock full of delightful, Baumbach-esque dialogue—without grinning:
The trail of the tape
Title: While We’re Young
Director: Noah Baumbach
Screenwriters: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Stiller, Adam Driver
Release date: March 27 limited release, expanding wide in April
The entire trailer in one line: “We were just 25. I mean, we weren’t, but, you know.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
I love Noah Baumbach—as a recent grad of the school of “I’m a 20-something and what the fuck am I doing with my life?”, I identified a little too much with Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha and Greenberg. So, now that I’m 45 and happily married, I’m excited to see Baumbach’s take on the matter. While Noel Murray frighteningly described an “unexpectedly sour turn” in his TIFF review of While We’re Young, I’m going to assume he just meant that everybody accidentally eats lemons instead of oranges, and then everybody laughs about it.