While We’re young

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG is a flawed but thought provoking movie about how hard it is for some middle aged people to accept the fact that they are no longer young. And it shows how far one fortyish couple (played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) will go, to try to re-capture the spirit of their youth.

When Stiller as the 45 year old Josh meets Adam Driver as Jamie and Amanda Seyfried as Darby, he’s very attracted to their youthful energy.

Cornelia (Josh’s wife): Why do you suddenly want to hang out with a couple of 25 year olds?

Josh: We were just 25; I mean we weren’t but you know…it’ll be fun.

Besides, unlike most of their same age friends, Josh and Cornelia (played by Naomi Watts) don’t have children.

Female Friend: We’re the boring couple with a baby. What have you been doing?

Josh: We met this interesting couple. He’s a young documentarian. She makes ice cream.

Female Friend: How old are they?

Josh: 25, 26, 27

Female Friend: They’re children!

Male friend: Yeah, 9 years ago they couldn’t vote.

But in spite of their many differences, the middle age couple and the younger couple begin spending lots of time together.

Cornelia on phone: We’ve got his Ayahuaasca ceremony this weekend with Jamie and Darby.

Female friend: What’s an Ayahuasca ceremony?

Cornelia: You drink this sludgy liquid. You hallucinate and you vomit up your demons.

Female friend: OK, Well; we’re just having a cookout and maybe playing charades.

The situation is amusing and the issues it raises are real. The problem is that the character of Josh is both foolish and annoying. He’s been working on the same documentary for ten years and hasn’t the first idea of how to get money for it.

Josh to potential funder: I’m trying to make a film that’s both materialist and intellectual at the same time…There’s a section, an entr’acte really, about
the function of race in the industrial complex, but the film is really about how power works in America. We have over a hundred hours of interviews.

In fact, the only truly likable character in this movie is Cornelia and her part is underdeveloped.

Eventually, we learn the young couple isn’t quite what they seem to be, and the increasingly bitter Josh proves the old adage that “there’s no fool like an old fool.”

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.