In my quest to navigate TIFF via public screenings, I found out that I was not privy to any of the "premium" show times, a.k.a. the premieres. No red carpets for this guy, which, honestly, is to everybody's benefit. But every so often, a kind publicist will look upon this decrepit, ticket-less beggar and show some mercy. So I got invited to the World Premiere (and after-party!) for Noah Baumbach's While We're Young, a rather exciting event if I allow my steely journalistic exterior to drop for a second. (And while we're here, I can briefly say that the after party had very good drinks, and the only celebrity I spoke to was Greta Gerwig, who I'd just seen in Eden, about which I will say much more in my next dispatch.)
Baumbach's film was easily one of my most anticipated in the festival, considering how much affection I have for Frances Ha (my #1 movie of 2013), and I would think it would be very difficult not to view While We're Young through the lens of that other (much better) film. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts co-star as that kind of flatlining married couple you often see in movies. There are no problems (yet), they're just pretty boring. They don't want (or can't have) kids like their friends are having. They've fallen into professional ruts (he directs documentary films; she "produces" them, and all that those scare quotes imply). They are primed, then, to latch onto Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, a compelling young couple full of "hipster" affectations both accurately drawn and not (I'm not sure the peyote-and-gurus crowd runs in Bushwick as rampantly as Baumbach thinks it does). Driver's character is your classic charismatic huckster, a budding documentarian himself who seeks out Stiller's guidance, and Stiller (and eventually Watts) falls for him hard.