hile We’re Young begins with humble intentions. It is, for all intents and purposes, a coming of age story. A couple approaching their middle ages, Cornelia and Josh, feel out of touch with the interests of their peers. Josh, a documentary filmmaker, has found himself in a stagnant state of progress career-wise. Along the way, he meets a young couple, Jamie and Darby. Josh and Cornelia are impressed with the younger couple and they begin to cultivate a friendship. Much like The Wackness, it finds charm in simplicity. This simplicity runs deep, motivating the film’s early aesthetic and thematic elements. Supplementing its gravity is an impressively subtle sense of humor, assisted by its editing and cinematography. The humor is further brought to fruition by an appropriate set of performances and strong editing. While We’re Young is backed by a well-planned and decisive sense of timing. Everything works in unison and gives the impression that, at the heart of the film, there is a very clear goal. Though it delivers on this impression, the conclusion ultimately feels unfitting.
IT SACRIFICES ITS OWN STRENGTHS,
TRYING TO BE MORE THAN IT NEEDS TO BE
Somewhere along the way, While We’re Young abandons simplicity in favor of higher thematic aspirations. This widening of scope does not serve the film well and the transition is not particularly subtle. It feels as if the ending wasn’t properly built. The problem is not one of plot; everything works in a narrative sense. While We’re Young sacrifices its own strengths, trying to be more than it needs to be. As it progresses, the movie relies more and more on narrative intricacies to carry it through to the end. But, the strongest moments of the film were those which depended very minimally on the details of plot. If the filmmakers wanted an ending with more momentum and thematic importance, there are subtler and more appropriate ways to go about it.
While We’re Young is a film built with the wrong stylistic tools for its ambitions. The incongruous ending doesn’t damage the experience entirely, however. Large segments of the movie run flawlessly, with a simple yet intentional approach which I really appreciated. The entire cast delivers, showcasing a comfortable balance between the work’s humorous and dramatic tones. I can certainly say that, regardless of how I felt about its goals, everyone involved worked towards them as one unit.
Image from Google
SCOTT RUDIN PRODUCTIONS
MARCH 27, 2015
WHILE WE'RE YOUNG REVIEW
By Rory Campbell on April 30, 2015