Is Noah Baumbach the Woody Allen of his generation? He’s a neurotic New Yorker who makes witty, talky, sometimes bleak comedies about life in the Big Apple. And now he’s taking another page from the Woodman and releasing two movies in one calendar year. What’s next, a Bergman and/or Fellini homage? A Crime And Punishment riff? A DreamWorks animated movie that bears his distinctive mark? (Oh, right.)
Mistress America, which premiered at Sundance in January, follows closely on the heels of this spring’s While We’re Young. The new new Baumbach reunites the filmmaker with romantic/creative partner Greta Gerwig, star and cowriter of his delightful Frances Ha (and, if we’re going to torture this comparison even further, sort of his Diane Keaton). Gerwig plays a Manhattan scenester who begins palling around with the college freshman (Gone Girl’s Lola Kirke) whose mother is marrying her father. Fast-paced verbal humor naturally ensues, before Baumbach makes a mid-film tilt into all-out, Noises Off farce. The movie also examines ethics in fiction, making it a companion piece to Young, which did the same for nonfiction. Mistress America will begin its screwball plunge into theaters on August 14.