Saturday we stayed in bed for most of the day watching movies. I needed a break from the news. The two days prior were non-stop news-binging and it took its toll on me. I went from being hopeful and in semi-good spirits to feel the fear and dread start to creep in. I needed a break from reality. I needed some movie-medicine.
I am a movie obsessive, near equal to my music obsessiveness. Since we are going to be “staying in” for a long haul I am going to be sharing more of my movie obsessions here, along with all the music. Maybe it will inspire more movie watching, and some much needed break-from-reality movie medicine marathons.
While We’re Young (2014)
Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach
Movie of the Day
While We’re Young was one of the movies we watched on Saturday. It is available to stream on Netflix, which is where we went to for it. It is a Noah Baumbach film from 2014 starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Ad-Rock/Adam Horowitz (Beastie Boys!), Maria Dizzia, and Charles Grodin. It is essentially about a forty-something couple who meets a twenty-something couple who they kind of fall in love with. I say kinda because really it’s their youth they fall in love with more than the actual people. It is about growing up and growing older, about dreams both lost and realized, and about defining your life.
The one thing I really related to this movie about is the notion that when you grow up your dreams (or heart, to quote The Breakfast Club) die. That there are things you aren’t “supposed to” do anymore. That there are these unwritten, but KNOWN rules about what you can and cannot do and be when you get older.
As someone who is older than Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) in this movie I felt some of their pain, and longing. Although I saw through Jamie’s (Adam Driver) facade pretty quickly. His asshole-ness was pretty obvious from the start, I still understood his appeal. Even more so, I understood the draw towards Darby (Amanda Seyfried), who seemed to fall just as much in love (or at least in longing) with Josh and Cornelia, as they did with her and Jamie.
Jamie and Darby are the Bonnie and Clyde of Brooklyn cool. They have all the trappings. The loft with VHS tapes and wall-to-wall records, the motorcycle and bikes they ride around on, the documentary-style movie-making, the hip hop dance classes, and coffee-culture and Ayahuasca weekends. Though in a lot of ways I thought Josh and Cornelia were pretty New York “cool”, too. Just a little lost in the way we all are sometimes.
The backdrop of documentary filmmaking, and the argument of truth and scripted reality was interesting to me – and relevant. As someone who is working on a memoir it was interesting to watch the questions arise about authenticity in story-telling, and when and where (and if) it is morally okay to mess with truth a little (or a lot) to entertain.
As a side note, I couldn’t help but think of Lelaina’s (Winona Ryder) documentary in Reality Bites that Michael (Ben Stiller) messes with, and makes inauthentic – ruining his relationship with Lanie with his truth-misstep.
Noah Baumbach is great at telling relationship stories, especially ones about marriage and family. Though this is not my favorite Baumbach, I did enjoy it a lot. I loved that, like many of his other films, New York is a character, too. It made me want to visit the city even more than I already do.
It is definitely on the “things to do once COVID 19 lets us live again” list.