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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Josh (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts) are a middle-aged couple whose lives are re-energized when they meet a much younger, hip couple Jamie (Driver) and Darby (Seyfried). However, the exchange of influences between the two couples doesn't turn out to be all that symbiotic in the long run.
Josh and Cornelia pretty much have nothing to complain about the way life treats them, except for the proverbial white elephant in the room that they can't ignore - their lives as individuals and as a married couple, are empty. Their sex life is in the doldrums and they go about day-to-day tasks like automatons. So it's no surprise that when Darby and, more specifically, Jamie enter their lives one day after Josh winds up giving a lecture in a college, it's like a breath of fresh air. Josh and Jamie's 'bromance' blossoms and the former loves everything about Jamie - from his worn sneakers to his expansive LP collection. In a short while, Josh and Cornelia learn to loosen up and live a little.
This also means adopting various forms of hipster cred, going to underground gatherings, taking hip hop dance classes and Josh sporting a fedora (de rigueur for a hipster) with dogged determination. But the smoothly shrewd Jamie is no slouch in the ambition department. He'll not only squeeze Josh for every benefit, but also treat his own girlfriend like a glorified assistant. The relationship dynamics between the couples and a tongue-in-cheek look at generational gaps are the most delightful aspects of the film. Baumbach weaves in elements of playful-but-pointed social satire well enough, without making it all seem too heavy.
The casting is spot-on. Stiller is endearingly sincere as a filmmaker desperate for funding, but won't compromise on his ethics. Seyfried and Driver go about their job without an ounce of hamming and Watts' performance is a lesson in disarming straightforwardness. And Adam 'Ad-rock' Horovitz (of hip hop group Beastie Boys) is a natural at playing a stay-at-home dad. Other than that, the deft editing and the quick pace makes this a fun watch.
James Franco was also originally cast in the film but had to opt out reportedly due to other work committments
David Bowie's song "Golden Years" plays at the start of the end credits. This is followed by Paul McCartney'd track called "Let Em In"
Adam Horovitz, who plays Fletcher, is in the Beastie Boys. Horovitz began his music career with a stint in the punk rock band the Young and the Useless, who would often perform with the Beastie Boys. In 1982, Beastie Boys guitarist John Berry quit and Horovitz replaced him. He was only 16 at the time.
Jamie plays in a band called Cookie Puss. Adam Horovitz, who plays Fletcher, is in the Beastie Boys, and Cookie Puss was the name of Beastie Boys' first single.
Amanda Seyfried replaced Greta Gerwig as she opted out of the project due to date issues.
David Bowie's song "Golden Years" plays at the beginning of the closing credits. The tune is also heard in the opening shot of the film, playing on a nursery music box.
Josh and Cornelia are two fairly successful or rather, success-oriented married people who live in a comfortable apartment in New York. They've been married for many years and while they love each other, they miss the 'spark' in their relationship. Cornelia tells him that they haven't had sex for the longest time. They miss the spontaneity of the early days of their relationship when he wooed her with letters. They'd like to have a kid but Cornelia is apprehensive. Because of her age, she would have to take various hormone pills and she dreads having to do that. She had got pregnant twice before but had miscarried. Josh is making slow progress on his documentary film and doesn't have the money to pay his cameraman until funds come through.
One day, after winding up a lecture at the college he works at, Josh is approached by Jamie and Darby, a hip young couple who spontaneously ask him and Cornelia out to dinner. Josh and Cornelia are both almost immediately impressed and taken in by the younger couple. They see a reflection of themselves. A few days later, they visit Jamie and Darby at their home and are further impressed with the hands-on approach to life that Jamie and Darby have. Meanwhile, Jamie had previously told Josh that he is a great fan of his work.
Jamie is then inspired to make a film about connecting with an old friend on Facebook and then going to meet him in real life and not just over the internet. Meanwhile, the friendship between the couple continues to grow. Jamie and Darby decide extend an invitation to Josh and Cornelia to attend an ayahuasca [a hallucinogenic composition native to the amazon in South America] ceremony along with them, where they will consume the hallucinogenic beverage along with other participants under the guidance of a shaman. When into the trip where a hallucinating Cornelia makes out with Jamie, thinking that it is Josh. Later on, Josh who is clearly in the ego-death phase of the trip, tells Jamie that he will help Jamie with his film as a cameraman, for free. So taken in is Josh by Jamie that he has apparently forgotten about his own film that needs to be made. Later, Cornelia agrees to help produce Jamie's film. Later on, Jamie and Josh locate Jamie's Facebook friend Kent, who is in a mental hospital after an attempted suicide. During this chat, Josh and Jamie find out that Kent was involved in a massacre during an Army tour in Afghanistan. Jamie's film now gets an even bigger subject to tackle.
Josh then visits a hedge fund investor to persuade him to invest in his film. The investor thinks he is a character out of Mad Men, and swigs a tumbler of whiskey while barely listening to Josh. Josh's description of the film is so long-winded that the meeting falls flat. Josh goes to his father-in-law Leslie with his film (now about six hours long) for a second opinion. Leslie and him watch it and the former is pretty honest about the fairly obvious fact that the film is way too long. The two then get into an argument about this which quickly heads off into another direction over Josh and Cornelia not having kids while all of their contemporaries have kids. Josh later goes to a party for a screening of Jamie's now-complete film, which is surprisingly, received pretty well by the same hedge fund investor. Josh and Cornelia get into an argument about Jamie's film, which then spirals out into a name-calling match. Josh goes to meet Darby at a bar and the latter tells him that she feels like Jamie's accessory to his galloping ambition. She is sick of Jamie's attitude and tells Josh that Cornelia kissed Jamie at the ayahusaca ceremony. The next morning, Josh angrily confronts Cornelia about this and for him, the friendship is over.
While watching Jamie's film one day, he sees a cup of Darby's handmade ice-cream in the frame. This means that Darby and Jamie had met up with Kent earlier and the whole meeting with Kent was staged, contrary to the ethical style of a documentary. Josh then meets Kent at a party and Kent reveals that he was actually pals with Darby and not Jamie and that he was contacted by Jamie weeks before their shoot to set it up. Josh tapes Kent's confession. Josh goes to Jamie and Darby to confront him with the truth. There, he sees Darby packing her things and moving out. Jamie is at a tribute celebrating Leslie at the Lincoln Center. Darby offers Josh Jamie's skates and helmet so he can head to the convention center.
At the event, Josh grabs a bottle of Jim Beam's at the bar, takes a couple healthy swigs and confronts Jamie in private in an empty hall. He slams Jamie for him for faking the truth and authenticity of his story just so that he could play to the gallery. Jamie agrees to come clean about his faking the documentary in front of Leslie, during the gathering. However, much to Josh's chagrin, Leslie brushes aside the faking part of it, saying that the film's story was good, regardless. Josh is then outraged and storms out, afte r that Leslie's criticism was in the right place, regarding his film. We then see Josh and Cornelia outside the convention center, sipping whiskey and reconciling. Cut to the future a year later and we see Josh and Cornelia heading to the airport to head to Haiti, where they plan to adopt a baby. While waiting at the airport, Josh comes across an interview in a magazine about Jamie. Now however, the two have completely moved on from their association with Jamie and laugh it off, saying "He's not evil, he's just young." As the film ends, we see Josh looking somewhat taken aback at a toddler sitting by a parent and playing with his iPhone.