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Film: While We're Young

Film Review: While We’re Young


Rating: M
Release Date: April 18th, 2015

‘Youth’ is prized highly in our culture. Not just for the wrinkle-free faces it produces, but for the opportunity it represents. The possibilities. Young people have choices that lay ahead not behind, and are ‘unattached’ and fancy-free. Supposedly.

In ‘While We’re Young’ filmmaker Josh (Ben Stiller), and his wife Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a dream-filled couple confronting the stagnation of middle age, whose lives are reinvigorated when they befriend two twenty-something hipsters.

With a studio apartment filled with records, a chicken, and handmade furniture, it seems Jamie (Adam driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) have it made. Their lax approach to connectivity and experimental lifestyle becomes the envy of Josh and Cornelia, who start idealizing the young couple, and readjusting their lives to match.

However the melee of spirituality master classes and trendy firesides prove dissatisfying.

Josh, or ‘Yoshy’, as his new buds call him is a purist. He believes in clear-cut truth, and a way people should be treated. He “believes the speeches”, and is swept into what he thinks is a world of liberation and freedom. Jamie and Darby though, are a generation straddling the line between pre and post digitization. Their notions of authentic, taste, and morality are all influenced by a different set of social rules.

Josh realises his versions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ may no longer be acceptable, and is trying to find grounding for new ones.

While We’re Young is a considered reflection on the ‘old meets new’ technological transition we’re in, and its affects on socialization and understandings of morality.

There is much to say on its discussions of success, and struggle with a culture of tolerance. In fact, you’ll no doubt be talking about them long after you’ve left the cinema.

8/10

High point: Ben Stiller wondering if he has “’Arthritis’ arthritis?” or just “Arthritis.”

Low Point: Seeing a live chicken so close to a kitchen sink.

Best digested with: Fondue and craft beer.

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