DISCLAIMER: Spoilers at some part so if you haven’t watched the movie, please do!
The story revolves around a middle-aged couple, Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, respectively) who feels they’ve always stuck with the norm, threw away all their possessions (hobbies and other unnecessary things) and made way for a married life and tried to have a child which is a futile attempt. They met a young couple, Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) in their mid-20s and felt the vibrant aura radiating off them and felt the need to revisit their lost youth.
With friends of the same age having babies, performing the parental duty which society dictated and having the struggles of having to cope with sadness and probably depression, anxiety and trauma for getting miscarriage twice, they felt themselves drift off and connect more with their newfound young friends. Unsurprisingly, it kind of carries them away from their actual age and how they should be acting.
As you watch this movie, you might find it boring, a bit dragging and questionable with all the conflicts presented but it will help you understand how and why each character interact with the others that way. The presence and the influence of the young couple is a breath of fresh air for the boring and mundane lifestyle of the middle-aged couple. Josh sees Jamie as his younger version, a filmmaker slash documentarist wannabe, with air of confidence and the happy-go-lucky nature he shed off to fulfill his dreams. He sees Jamie as the more relaxed and fulfilled version of him and he takes a liking to the younger which makes him feel like his own big brother. Cornelia latches on to the idea of a freer Darby, who is making ice cream because she likes it (but only because Jamie tells her so) and even makes it as her own business. Together they both explore the seemingly unending possibilities of their forgotten youth. Josh tries to change, be more generous and help Jamie with his film and Cornelia eventually feels Josh slipping away from how he used to be.
If I disclose any more information about the plot, you might as well not watch the movie. Kidding! But if you really haven’t seen the movie, I plead you to watch it.
As for how the film ended, I am not sure if you can totally get me but the way Jamie got away in the end? It’s not working for me. I completely understand how Josh thinks about process, the way of handling outputs in an authentic and truthful manner yet one 25-year old guy just sweeps everyone up with his output in a way it arguably isn’t exactly truthful. I mean if there were parts that weren’t true, people would just believe it, right? And the guy says like it’s the most natural thing to do, which is not. It’s completely hypocritical and degrading. I, a 23 year old unemployed girl, is saying that the 25 year old dude is completely way out of the line.
It’s not right to produce a copy or output without proper due, proper credit. It’s fraud and it’s illegal. I worry how the youth will turn out even more if this kind of movie just flat out says that it’s what young people do. They cheat, lie and come up with different kinds of stories and compile them with the facts they have gathered to produce an output or a film, story or a documentary that catches the public’s attention, just to be admired or even achieve success.
Yes, the public wants it, they crave it, but it is not right to give them something half-assed. It’s your own reputation, your beliefs and your values that gets tarnished. You get admired by the public for the wrong reasons and you know it. What’s worse is that the public gets reeled in with your lies that makes this thing even more complicated. It’s the way of life but it shouldn’t be. It’s completely barbaric, the way people are so greedy to be successful in life and step on others just to achieve it. It’s so cruel but it’s life. Still, whether it is completely natural and how society now works, it doesn’t have to end up in a way you completely disregard the beliefs instilled in you. It would be nice to be famous and successful for works you purposely and originally created, produced and executed. It will make a difference in a world where lies and deception overrule the truth. It’s just so disappointing, for my part, that people view the youth as go-getters and yes, there’s nothing wrong with that, but at least do it with a little integrity. After all, in the end, the truth will probably end up eating your conscience alive.
Now I may be all idealistic and a beacon of truth and justice but if you can simply help stop cheating your way out of life it will be a great deal. Believe me, it will.
And despite the movie being so frustrating as it is, it’s a wonderful gift to people of all ages. It’s so life-ish. Everything you will probably encounter in your life when you reach the age of 40s will mostly be in this film. You may not believe me now because I’m only in my 20s but look at how it made me frustrated.
Photo credits: http://assets.while-were-young.com/wwy_og.jpg