This Is Our Youth: Inert and Amusing

“You think what you think and I think what I think and there’s no way we’re ever going to convince each other, so my suggestion is that we just drop it.” 101881aThis is Our Youth, a play about spoiled Manhattan kids adrift in their inertia, opened on Broadway last week to some acclaim. Starring Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson, the story doesn’t go anywhere – something like Waiting for Godot but with more of an actual plot – but offers oddly astute and amusing moments. Michael CeraCera’s deadpan delivery and Gevinson’s overwrought performance flesh out the writing of Kenneth Lonergan with an effect that is surprisingly both grating and thought-provoking. While the message isn’t a new one – bombastic youth pontificating on truth at each other – it does remind us of our own confused aspirations, something best paraphrased by King Oscar II of Sweden in 1923. King Oscar IIOne who has not been a socialist before 25 has no heart. If one remains one after 25, he has no head.

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