By Richard Corliss
March 26, 2015

Mired in his mid-40s, docu-filmmaker Josh (Ben Stiller, below) needs a dose of emotional Viagra. He may have found a cure in the charms of 20-something Jamie (Adam Driver), whose nerdy good humor proves as stimulating as his admiration of Josh’s early work. The older man feels a youthful zest he probably missed the first time around. Or should he beware geeks bearing gifts?

While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach’s acutely acerbic comedy, may be a warning against false hope harbored by the middle-aged. Josh is an early-onset codger in hipster New York City, a kind of Forrest Grump. And not even the fond attentions of his wife (Naomi Watts) and Jamie’s (Amanda Seyfried) salve the ache.

But Baumbach has a wizened wit to match his misanthropy in his sharpest and, oddly, most buoyant outing since The Squid and the Whale in 2005. We promise you’ll have a lovely time, smiling through Josh’s pain.

–RICHARD CORLISS

Contact us at editors@time.com.

This appears in the April 06, 2015 issue of TIME.

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