While We’re Young: Noah Baumbach on New Media

“While We’re Young,” written and directed by Noah Baumbach, is a gentle indictment of the new social media.

The film centers on a fortysomething couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) who become enamored of pair of twentysomething Brooklyn hipsters (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried).

Much of the attraction is that theirs is an analog life, one with videotapes, cassettes and records, while Stiller and Watts have become too consumed with a bourgeois attachment to their iPads, iPods and Netflix subscriptions.

The aspiring filmmaker played by Driver is utterly dismissive of Facebook, to which Stiller responds, “It helps you connect and there’s photos,” all but confirming its status as a digital coffeehouse for the aging.

As Watts marvels, part of their appeal is that they are caught up “with all the stuff we threw away.”

In the process, the attraction of this young couple seems more spontaneous and solid than Stiller and Watts’ marriage — though all is not as it seems.

The film’s final image of Watts and Stiller looking on as a toddler plays with an iPhone complicates the picture and seems to confirm that these devices have become all too firmly enmeshed in our lives.