Frances Ha director Noah Baumbach’s comedy of generational conflict sees a 40-something couple facing stagnation. Josh (Ben Stiller) is a documentarian struggling to complete his latest film after eight years of work, and still striving for the approval of his mentor/father-in-law (Charles Grodin). Meanwhile, Cornelia (Naomi Watts) feels increasingly alienated from her friends who are starting families while she and Josh remain childless.
A chance encounter with an achingly hip young couple leads to a rejuvenating friendship, offering Josh the chance to act as mentor himself to budding filmmaker Jamie (Adam Driver), while Cornelia is inspired by Darby (Amanda Seyfried) to push her personal boundaries. Ultimately, relationships are compromised by the individual agendas pursued, depicted by Baumbach in a range of comedy styles, from Woody Allen-influenced dialogue to gross-out moments, while also offering a subtle reflection on the ageing process and waning creativity. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
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