On (Not) Being Adults



In his latest film about adults not wanting to be adult-like at all, writer/director Noah Baumbach introduces middle-aged couple Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts), who are facing that mid-life feeling that something is missing. But they’re reinvigorated when they meet 20-something couple Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). Just watching the trailer also made us slightly depressed, but what else can be expected from Baumbach? While We’re Young opens April 10 at Kahala Theatre. >>

NICOLE: I think after watching this film, I’m just going to be afraid of growing older and getting arthritis.

JAIMIE: This trailer kind of depressed me. Is that what I am going to be like when I am old? Ugh, I am going to be the worst, most crotchety old person ever. I will never, ever, ever be comfortable with the idea that I am technically an adult. Because, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

CHRISTINA: But like they said in the trailer, I don’t think that anybody ever feels like an adult. I’m pretty sure everyone is just faking it and acting like they think an adult is supposed to act.

PAIGE: My deepest, darkest fear in life is that I’ll grow up and I won’t change, and I’ll be that unsettling old person who still gets really enthused about Pokemon and lives alone and childless. “Aren’t you a little old for that?” people will say, skeptically, and I’ll be Ben Stiller, politely confused and having a silent but intense inner meltdown.

JAMES: I don’t think any of you guys have anything to worry about. I, on the other hand, have yet to remove a dead plant from my apartment. It’s been there for three years. I still spray it with water in hopes to resuscitate it.

NICOLE: Big Amanda Seyfried fan. Her features are so striking in a way that’s a little bit unnerving but also totally gorgeous. I thought she was great in A Million Ways to Die in the West and Les Mis.

PAIGE: I’m not a big Amanda Seyfried fan because I look at her and think BUGGY EYES and then that’s it. Can’t unsee it. The end.

JAMES: I liked seeing Adam Horowitz (Beastie Boys).

He just posted a video giving advice to teenagers about adolescence. What a grown-up thing to do. And I guess in the flick, he’s kind emblematic of the aging musician/artist in his middle ages who’s got it all figured out, and it looks like he plays counterpoint to Ben Stiller’s character.

NICOLE: It seems that the younger dude (Adam Driver) is also a filmmaker like Ben Stiller. How coincidental that an older filmmaker and his wife meet a younger filmmaker and his significant other? It lines up too well for me.

CHRISTINA: I think maybe Adam Driver is trying to use Ben Stiller in some way? Or, maybe something less sinister and he really does like Ben’s movie about dogs around the trash can.

NICOLE: I think he is using Ben Stiller, like, to make his film better? Or to steal his idea? Something along those lines. The trailer didn’t really make that clear, or I just wasn’t interested enough to pay attention.

CHRISTINA: That whole debate about whether to have kids, though, I think they kind of missed the boat on that. I think they’re both in their late 40s?

PAIGE: The overall tone of the film, I thought, was strange because there were scenes that should have been funny (Naomi Watts overwhelmed by hip-hop dance) but then, they weren’t. I did not even smile watching this. The film isn’t sure what it wants to grow up to be, either.

JAMES: I think Noah Baum-bach explores this subject of arrested development a lot. From the Jeff Daniels character in The Squid and the Whale, to Nicole Kidman in Margot at the Wedding to Ben Stiller in Greenberg, there’s this sort of sustained tantrum that translates into this brand of cringe-worthy comedy — self-absorbed grown-ups behaving badly, but not in the slapstick Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell sort of way. Every grown up character is an aged version of a character from Francis Ha, as if this is what eventually happens to all the people in this circle. They’re quirky when young, but those quirks don’t age well.

CHRISTINA: I totally related to Naomi Watts trying to hold the baby and doing it all wrong. It looked like she was about to drop that thing.

JAIMIE: This movie seems just a touch too real — the idea of growing up and settling down and all that, especially with the entire plot built around whether they should have a baby. When I think about having a baby, the most immature thoughts come to mind. Like, I will never be able to do anything on a whim ever again. And how will I keep up with my Netflix queue, or eat and sleep when I want to? Yeah. Worst. Mother. Ever.

NICOLE: Or drink wine, Jaimie. How will you drink wine on a consistent basis?

JAIMIE: Oh my God, yes, all the wine I would have to give up. It simply won’t do. Wine > Baby.