If Wes Anderson had a twin brother it would be Noah Baumbach. Many of Baumbach’s films – especially “The Squid and the Whale” and “Frances Ha” – exude the same cleverness, tactfulness and cinematic poise. In fact, Baumbach and Anderson have co-written two movies together, and have undoubtedly attended many of the same dinner parties (which is more important anyway). They are storytellers of the same stylistic vein: singular, insightful, memorable. With “While We’re Young,” however, Baumbach seems to be taking a more personal turn, one that promises to grapple with the struggles and challenges of aging in a world that’s increasingly dependent on young people.

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While We’re Young
A24


Ben Stiller (“Night at the Museum”) and Naomi Watts (“Birdman”) star as a married middle-aged couple who become enthralled with the lifestyle and energy of a younger couple they meet. Together the two couples embark on a series of adventures, including a yoga-like class in which each participant consumes a mysterious drink, hallucinates and vomits their “demons” out from their system. If you’ve ever wanted to see Ben Stiller in a silly hipster context, this is your chance.

In addition to the strange and somewhat whimsical situations the couples volunteer themselves for, a broader and more serious commentary underlies the film. “While We’re Young” is about the cultural age gap and the strains it puts on intergenerational communication. It’s evident that, although each couple admires the other for certain qualities or habits, they all find fault in their relationships. In this way, the film is about learning to accept these marital faults instead of trying to change or ignore them. The title obviously implies a “well, it’s too late” sentiment, but it does nothing in the way of condescending to such an attitude. This will be a smart, well-written comedy about the pains and pleasures of age, and about the ways in which we all can come to fall in love with personal flaws.

Plus, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem is orchestrating the film’s music. Need there be more reason to go and see it?

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