|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||While we`re young|
|Production country:||USA 2014|
|Running time:||Approx. 98 min.|
Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are convinced they have the perfect relationship. While all their friends have had children, they can enjoy their freedom to the fullest. Or rather, they could, if they would just break out of their well-worn routine for a change. So while they are happy, they still feel like they are missing something. That changes when they meet young hipster couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). Josh and Cornelia are fascinated by the light-heartedness and openness of the young people and are only too happy to be drawn into their lives. On bike rides through New York, visits to restaurants, parties and relaxing weed smoking, they forget their monotonous stuffiness and feel a whole lot younger. However, the youthfulness they put on from now on is not only annoying for their friends. Josh and Cornelia also have to realize at some point that you can't run away from real problems...
Noah Baumbach once again devotes himself to the neuroses and emotional chaos of big-city people in his latest comedy, Gefühlt Mitte Zwanzig. After targeting the so-called twentysomethings in his acclaimed Frances Ha, he now gives the mid-forties a run for their money. Baumbach once again demonstrates an excellent gift for observing everyday absurdities, which he admittedly depicts somewhat exaggeratedly. But it's not the obviously overdrawn scenes that make this film so successful, even if they do provide some very good laughs. Rather, it's the small moments, wonderfully written lines of dialogue, that create the feeling of extreme authenticity. Baumbach perfectly sketches the conflict between young hipsters and a generation that believes it is young at heart, but is in fact further from youth than it would like to admit.
Ben Stiller, who has already shone in Baumbach's Greenberg, takes a pleasantly restrained approach, largely eschewing the kind of clamorous performance he gave in the successful Nights at the Museum films. Alongside him, Naomi Watts is also convincing. Together, their desperate attempts to appear hip and youthful make for some delightful moments that narrowly miss being tragicomically outrageous. But Adam Driver (Girls, Star Wars: Episode VII) and Amanda Seyfried are also just great as the supposedly cool hipster couple.
As amusing as the film is, it also makes you think in some moments. For instance, it raises the question of whether the desire to realize one's own dreams alone justifies extremely ego-centric behavior. And it also shows the picture of a young generation that is completely overwhelmed by the many possibilities that are offered to them. If then some reveal an extreme preference for everything that is somehow retro, this might be cool and hip on the surface, but could also be interpreted as an escape from one's own future. All of this is only relatively subtly hinted at, though. Because first and foremost, Gefühlt Mitte Zwanzig is supposed to be fun - and this entertaining New York comedy succeeds very well in that.
Towards the end, however, the fast-paced production runs out of steam a bit. Although the resolution of the story is very coherent, it lacks the bite that makes just the first half so successful. Nevertheless, even with minor shortcomings, Noah Baumbach has succeeded in creating a conventional, but nevertheless rousing, charming comedy that captures the attitude towards life of two generations very well. Light-footedly staged, well acted and thus simply: absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp