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While We’re Young: Let’s be hipsters!

You can never be too old to be a hipster – it might even solve your mid-life crisis. But at what cost?

After meeting hipster couple Jamie and Darby, Josh (Ben Stiller) regains his zest for life

It must be horrible to realise you’re not cool anymore. Just yesterday you were an energetic 20-something hanging out with your gang, but now you suddenly can’t pull off a fashionable fedora without looking shady.

In While We’re Young, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts are Josh and Cornelia Srebnick, a middle-aged couple who have fallen into a slump. Josh’s career as a filmmaker hasn’t been very fertile, and neither has their childless marriage.

Cornelia Srebnick (Naomi Watts) is pressured by her friends for children, like a never-ending Facebook feed of baby bragging

It doesn’t help that their same-age friends – played by Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys) and Maria Dizzia – always gloat about their parenthood, like baby bragging on Facebook without the “block” button.

Hipsters to the Rescue

But Josh and Cornelia meet a free-spirited, spontaneous young couple, and their life is turned around. Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) are always in pursuit of something new: retro board games one day, getting a pet chicken the next.

Young couple Jamie (far right) and Darby transform Josh (middle) and Cornelia (far left) into funky middle-aged hipsters

Jamie fawns over Josh’s classic films, giving the old boy a nice ego boost; Darby brings Cornelia for heart-thumping hip-hop classes. I hope I’ll have such exciting, helpful company when I’m 40 too.

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Josh and Cornelia now find new meaning and passion in life – as well as new friends. All is well and perfect now. Or is it?

Amidst receiving fanboy praise from Jamie, Josh finds out that his new best friend isn’t as innocent and trustworthy as he thought.

But, as you’ll soon find out, Josh isn’t so faultless either – and he goes to petty yet crazy lengths to prove this. As the two couples spend more time together, they begin to bring out the ugly in each other.

A Fresh Type of Comedy

One thing’s obvious: While We’re Young is no sappy, mid-life crisis comedy.

It’s straightforward about pointing out its issues – such as fears about ageing and being stuck in a yawning generational gap – yet also manages to make silly jokes of them.

And leave it to director Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, Fantastic Mr Fox, Madagascar 3) to defy the modern comedy template we’ve grown tired of.

Josh (left) and Cornelia Srebnick are a middle-aged childless couple caught in a mid-life slump

Look out also for Stiller’s signature slapstick gags, and the uncle-like manner in which he delivers witty punchlines.

Reviews hint at an ending that’s clever yet frustrating; something that I’m personally excited about. Something tells me that the sight of two middle-aged hipster-wannabes might be hilariously frustrating too.

By Pamela Chow

While We’re Young [TBA]

Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Run length: TBA
Release: Apr 2