While We’re Young – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

whilewereyoungWhile We’re Young – 3.5/5 – There is something to be said about films that provider the subtlety of life.  That context; when combined with the film’s journey is something that can soothe and enthrall the experience.  This kind of film (a subtext within the indie genre) can be more entertaining than any high flying action extravaganza or multi-layered psychological tale.  When films dabble on simple aspects; that is when we see some kind of connection for ourselves within the characters of that story.  While We’re Young has (for the most part) that feeling.  A film about the tale of ideas of age, marriage and general purpose in life; While We’re Young helps create a complexion where a simple story can be one that is entertaining, even if fails to hit that grand mark.

Premise: A middle-aged couple becomes enthralled when a openly friendly young couple comes into their lives.  When this happens; worlds begin to unravel and truths come to light.  With changes coming, both couples are challenged and must find out what it really means to age together.

At the heart of this film are the characters that represent the strong themes of being a couple and aging in life.  On the one side, you have the older couple.  They are Josh and Cornella, played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.   On the other side, you have a younger couple.  They are Jamie and Darby; played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried.   As a whole, these four do a great job in capturing the pure essences that mark the ideals of two strong parts in our society.  You get to see the strengths/weaknesses that come with the overall ‘young/spontaneous’ couple vs. the ‘older/wiser’ one.  You get to see where commitments, dreams, ideas and general life issues come in together but at the same contrast each other.  The whimsical feelings you get to see on screen spurs from the curiosities of the older couple with the younger one.  They see something in them that’s a reminder of something they think they lost.  That curiously brings some kind of rejuvenation of sorts.  On the other side, you see the young couple is completely ‘inspired’ by this older couple.  They have experiences that they wish to aspire for, but at the same time aren’t bind by the same ‘chains’ of what the older one has.  There is a freedom they express within their lives that they provide as a spark with the older couple.  This is what creates the dynamic within all of them; as you see something fruitful in the charismatic layering of all four individuals together.   This gives the proof to their genuine dialogue; where the feeling you get seems mutual, even if the context to get to some ‘end’ isn’t.   Its wit and charm combined with strong dynamics and cunning attributes.  There is something simplistic in their words, but powerful at the same time.  That feeling helps create a connection to see ‘yourself’ within one of the four.   For the secondary cast, they aren’t as complex as the main four actors/actresses.   In short; the supporting characters are basic objects for the film’s progression.  They are basic pawns for the ‘overall’ structure of the film.

Before I get into crux of this  part of the review; I want to put a strong note one thing that is glaring; the quick pace of the film’s direction.  Have a quick pace is something that’s usually a high point within the direction of most films.  The reason is because quick pace helps ring in aspect of the running time.  When a film doesn’t parallel pace with time; it cause fragments within the story, characters or overall direction.  When it comes to this film; the quick pace dilutes the direction within this film.   As much as you enjoy the main characters, and how each of them grown through their banter (as mentioned above), the time you get is diluted by the pace; where you never get to the ‘real’ experience of what makes these characters ‘whole’.  The film starts off with the old couple; and their prologue about ‘life’ and wanting ‘something’ to be inspired by again.  From here, the film quickly moves like bullet points:

Old couple meets new couple (circumstantial meeting)

They open up to each other; ideas share about life (Subtle of themes introduced)

Intrigue and interest leads to budding relationship (comical/dramatic hijinx)

This is the general ‘scope’ within the explanation of the first two acts (as it feels like it is one big act).  There isn’t much strong story elements, as the film is left to the experience of the characters and how they deal with age and life.  Experiences (past and present) help dictate the innate subtlety of the themes, creating that connection on a personal level.   Even as you connect, the film is still left with hollowness.  There isn’t enough emotional power to make ‘certain’ moments and revelation poignant.  This will cause you to prick and pry open a general ‘context’ of where the film is going to end.  That predictability drowns out a lot of the character depth.  When the film seems to be going down the road where ‘ending kills the film’s experience’, it takes a turn away from the quick pace.  Once we get into the third act, we are brought back down to a raw level.  We get to see the defines of both the older and younger couple.  You get to see a very stark contrast in morals, ideals, purpose and reason.  You see how the budding friendship might have been more than a surface blind, as all the truths begin to break all the characters involved.  You get an experience that was supposed to be built up to this point; both emotionally and physically.  This makes the climax all more endearing, even if it is ironically simple. As we are led into a very unique ‘full circle’ epilogue, you get to feel that subtle context of what life is; finding that (even at the end) a pure connection that is personal and poignant.

The visuals of this film are grounded in parallel with the overall story.  With the focus on the two couples, we get to see the themes of ‘life’ in a visual from; leaving the camera on the important parts of the point.  The visuals keep the film sincere.   The score is only worth saying it’s there; as it had no effect on the film (good or bad).

While We’re Young is a film that does many things right.  Even for the great characters and general simple context; the quick pace causes this film to be a great one for the ages.  With the subtle of life and what it means to grow old; you will find something worthy within this film.   If you’re a fan of films of this kind (or the actors involved); you will definitely find an enjoyment here.

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