Writer-director Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) sets out in his latest film, While We’re Young, to skewer the pretensions and First World problems of the artistically privileged by inserting razor-sharp barbs that slide in but furiously rip the flesh at the slightest tug. And Baumbach has not one, but two big meaty fish on the hook this time. The first is a Generation X couple — Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) — of artistic means, unencumbered by children, although they watch, with satisfied derision, as friends lose themselves to their black hole sun of an offspring.
The second catch is a pair of Brooklyn hipsters — Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) — he, a budding documentarian, infatuated with Josh’s more esoteric brand of work as well as a huge jonesing for all things analog (vinyl records, VHS tapes, actual books, old-fashioned street gatherings and walking the old subway and rail lines); she, an artisan who produces her own brand of ice creams. Baumbach accomplishes the goal, but also makes sure to remind the Generation Xers in the audience that we should be ready and willing to poke at ourselves and our place in the social order as well. (R) Grade: B