My girlfriend is younger than me - technically she's a MIllennial - and we had very different experiences with While We're Young, Noah Baumbach's latest film. I enjoyed it, even if he didn't tie everything up properly in the end. She felt like the director - a director she adores, by the way - had spent two hours explaining why she was so bad. The generation gap strikes!
Walking out of the movie I told her that Mistress America was going to solve a lot of her complaints; I had seen Mistress America at Sundance, before I saw While We're Young, and perhaps that film's infectious love of its characters and of youth colored some of my perceptions of While We're Young. Because even though Greta Gerwig's character in Mistress America hits some narcissistic Millennial notes, the movie deeply cares for her, flaws and all. What's more Lola Kirke - whose character is, I guess, whatever comes after Millennial? - is exactly the sort of smart, tough, funny young character that has inspired me my entire life. The film is absolutely in love with youth.
And it's funny as hell; Baumbach, co-writing with Gerwig, has concocted a modern day screwball comedy, a film whose main comedic setpiece could be easily transposed to stage as characters rush from room to room to argue, to be misunderstood and to quip. I love the energy of the movie and I love the humor and I love that it feels, in many ways, of a piece with Frances Ha, another great Baumbach/Gerwig film.
The trailer is here now, and you should watch it before this piece morphs into a review. Just know that this is a great movie, and it's a sweet movie, and it's a smart as a whip movie.