He is a close collaborator with, and often compared to Wes Anderson, to the point where the two of them co-wrote The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox together and even share a producer in Scott Rudin. They also have a similar “quirky” style of films, though Baumbach's films usually deal with darker elements than Anderson’s.
Baumbach was married to Jennifer Jason Leigh from 2005 to 2013. He‘s now in a relationship with Greta Gerwig, with whom he co-wrote Barbie (2023), and whom he directed in Frances Ha and White Noise (2022).
- Kicking and Screaming (1995)
- Highball (1997)
- Mr. Jealousy (1998)
- The Squid and the Whale (2005)
- Margot at the Wedding (2007)
- Greenberg (2010)
- Frances Ha (2012)
- While We’re Young (2014)
- Mistress America (2015)
- De Palma note (2015)
- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
- Marriage Story (2019)
- White Noise (2022)
Tropes present in his work:
- Alan Smithee: For Highball, he was credited as "Ernie Fusco" for director and "Jesse Carter" for co-writer.
- Author Appeal: He seems to love characters who refuse to grow up and relationships falling apart.
- Big Applesauce
- Black Comedy
- Central Theme: Dysfunctional Family.
- Creator Backlash: Highball is one to him, with him referring to it as basically unfinished. and all but disowning it.
- Creator Couple: With Jennifer Jason Leigh for Greenberg, and later Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Mistress America, and Barbie (2023).
- Creator's Oddball: Noah Baumbach is the writer of The Squid and the Whale, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Meyerowitz Stories, Marriage Story and......Barbie?
- He is also co-writer for Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
- Creator Provincialism: Tends to set his movies in his native New York City.
- Darker and Edgier: Than his collaborator Wes Anderson.
- Dysfunctional Family: When families in his movies are reunited, they all seem to be at least somewhat dysfunctional.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality
- Growing Up Sucks: A major theme of his work involves people who stubbornly refuse to grow up.
- Humans Are Flawed: Characters can be really stubborn, ignorant, arrogant, or immature (refusing to grow up and take responsibility) however that doesn't mean they are all outright horrible people.
- Pigeonholed Director: He, like Wes Anderson, is known for “quirky” movies about upper-middle class people, though his style is more caustic.
- Playing Against Type: He’s best known for his dramedies about people who struggle to grow up. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, a decision that, as implied by Marriage Story, was largely financial following his divorce from Jennifer Jason Leigh.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His earlier films are very cynical. However, his past few films have been somewhere in the middle.
- Technician vs. Performer: The Performer to Wes Anderson’s Technician.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Though with Margot, the characters fall under Sociopathic Hero.
- What Could Have Been: Originally, he wanted Wes Anderson to direct The Squid and the Whale, but Anderson declined on the grounds that only Baumbach could tell his own personal story.