Parents' Guide to

40 Years Young

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Chef finds joy even as marriage crumbles; language, drugs.

Movie NR 2022 81 minutes
40 Years Young

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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40 Years Young is a bit of froth that tries to lean on the importance of family and friendship for its substance. And its central message is a good one -- that parental love has little to do with biology. But despite appealing performances, it never really amounts to anything, and the appeal for the teens who would best understand the goings-on would likely be minimal.

Puzzlingly, several times the script goes in directions that don't pay off. Cesar is told a DNA test was done showing someone else fathered the boy he's raised as his son. Much is made of his asking for another one, but the results don't move the plot along at all. Dramatic tension is created when the troubled Cesar takes time off in the middle of the contest, yet it turns out Paolo could compete alone, making it clear that the tension was contrived rather than organic to the story. A character refers to his gastritis as if it's going to be a continuing theme with consequences for the story, but it's never mentioned again. The movie keeps setting us up for dramatic arcs that go halfway up but don't return to earth for a satisfying close.

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