Ben Stiller is getting old guys: This is Noah Baumbach’s second film in something of a trilogy for twenty-somethings in New York, which doesn’t centralize one character like his previous film Frances Ha. Instead, this film is a social commentary on how ideologies are changing, how the use of technology between generations is different mixed with Baumbach’s character driven storytelling. The social commentary gets too obvious during certain scenes, so in the end it just feels like there are three different films going on, and it just doesn’t seem to mesh.
The characters: This is the biggest drawback in the film. It’s not particularly the writing or acting. but how the characters are written into the story. There’s not a clear representation to who is essential to the story, and who are the background characters. In some cases, somebody will seem to contribute greatly in the first or second act, only to disappear in the third. Or it could be the opposite in other cases, creating a mess in character motivations and their amount of significance to the story.
It’s a Noah Baumbach film: This film wouldn’t have been nearly as good if it didn’t have Noah Baumbach’s charm. Despite the flaws in the film, it’s still entertaining. Whether you’re a fan of Baumbach himself, or Woody Allen. There’s enough witty banter, and relatable moments to keep you engaged in the plot(s).