Josh, a documentary filmmaker, and his wife Cornelia are a middle-aged couple living in New York. While Josh struggles to finish his latest documentary, one he's been working on for the better part of a decade, Cornelia finds herself constantly pressured to have a baby from her group of friends, all of which have kids. When Josh and Cornelia meet Jaime and Darby, an exuberant young couple, they find a new sense of liberation from middle aged life. Noah Baumbach's While We're Young is a nuanced study of middle adged stagnancy, exposing the fears that exist when comparing oneself to the society's expectations. That is at least what the film begins as, but what makes While We're Young one of Baumbach's most fascinating films is its layered narrative that touches on a host of interesting ideals about modern society. Touching on societal expectations, our growing attachment to technology, and filmmaking questions centered around colloboration and the fine line between fact and fiction, While We're Young is a film that is overstuffed with ideas, some of which are certainly more developed than others. Using these two couples, one in their 20s and one in their 40s, Baumbach captures the contrast of these age groups, showing how young people are eager to conquer the world, while as one gets older it becomes more about what u have and finding happiness in those things. Ben Stiller's Josh character is the main force of this story, a man whose struggling to accept where he is as as filmmaker. Jaime offers the reverse to this, a young man who is just starting out, attempting to make something for himself. As the film progresses, it becomes apparent that they are more alike than they care to admit, just living at differ points on the same timeline. By contrasting these two characters, While We're Young isn't just a film about the midlife crisis, but a larger film about society itself and how it defines age. While some of the film's ideas are more mentioned than explored, Baumbach's film shows much more empathy for Jaime than I could, but that is what makes While We're Young feel like Baumbach's most mature feature yet.
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