40 years young (Cuarentones) is a Mexican movie about two friends who are facing a middle life crisis. They decide to participate in a cooking competition to help their situation. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
César (Erick Elias) and Paolo (Adal Ramones) have been best friends and business partners for the last 10 years. They have an Italian restaurant called L’Allegria. César is closing to 40 when everything goes downhill, and he hits a mid-life crisis.
He learns that his wife, Amelia, had a secret boyfriend while dating him, who had been in jail for the last 10 years. Horacia, the secret boyfriend, is out of jail now and wants to reconcile with them. Amelia also reveals that their son might not be César’s. And to add the cherry on top, César ends up losing his mom the next day.
Paolo can’t see his friend like this and convinces César to participate in the cooking competition with him. This is the perfect break that they need. César and Paolo are seen making new friends and bonding together.
Despite having a cliche character, Adal Ramones wins hearts with his performance. He manages to make scenes funny with his antics.
Erick Elias gives a satisfactory performance in this movie. He fails to alleviate the emotional moments, making them uninteresting.
Gaby Espino does a charming job. While her scenes with César lack chemistry, individually, she shines through.
The movie dwells on important yet mostly untouched issues like loneliness amongst older people and how to deal with it.
The aesthetics and visuals of the film are beautiful. Shot in Cancún, the beautiful beaches and other scenery adds a lot to the scenes.
If there’s one word to describe the movie, it would be ‘bland’. 40 Years Young is simply uninteresting. The plot is very mediocre, the characters are very cliche, and there’s a lack of chemistry between them.
The friendship between Paolo and César is very trivial and unoriginal. Paolo is the typical hyperactive person who pushes his friend to do stuff. There is no emotional connection between the two.
There are a lot of plot holes and open plot lines. The director of the story is hostile towards Paolo and César throughout the film, but there’s no explanation for this. The director vanishes by the end of the film, making his existence and scene unnecessary.
The timeline of the movie is broken a lot of times. It is hard to keep up with abrupt changes. The movie is supposedly about a cooking competition, but there is little mention of the same. It would have made the film more interesting had there been more drama involving the competition.
40 Years Young sends a wrong message. In the beginning, when César is grieving for his dead mother and dealing with heartbreak, Paolo asks César multiple times to be happy and positive.
And when César suddenly decides to have a more positive outlook on life, he is seen as happier. This is extremely problematic as it indicates that everything could be solved by being happy. It reduces the severity of mental health issues and scraps effective ways to deal with them.
Despite being a comedy, many jokes fall off straight without eliciting a response from the viewers.
40 Years Young strives to convey a positive message to the audience, but it gets tangled in formulaic character arcs, making the film unenjoyable. The message gets lost within a poorly written plot and bland gags. This Mexican comedy can definitely be avoided.
Also Read: 40 Years Young summary and ending explained