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40 Years Young review: Poorly cooked Spanish comedy has no flavour

There is a scene that is set in a shallow body of water in the movie, and this would perfectly sum up the movie. Shallow and having no flow. The short runtime is the only positive for this comedy.

  • Akshay Krishna

Last Updated: 03.17 AM, May 05, 2022

40 Years Young review: Poorly cooked Spanish comedy has no flavour

Story: César and Paolo are best friends and run a successful restaurant. They enter a cooking competition, but a few weeks before this, disaster strikes in César’s life. His family is soon in ruins and he is thrown into a mid-life crisis and the competition could be just what he needs to get his life back on track.

Review: So, here is a comedy about two chefs from Spain, who enter a cooking competition. What could go wrong, right? Well for starters, the writing for this Spanish comedy romance about César (Erick Elias) and his best friend and business partner Paolo (Adam Ramones) is poorly written, and made with even less conviction. We could be having a nice scene in the movie at one stage, and in the blink of an eye, we could see the characters having a pointless conversation. It feels undercooked and lacks any real flavour to keep it occupied. 

César is a successful chef and runs a restaurant with his friend. He also leads a happy family life, with a wife and a young son. The two chefs are ready to participate in a cooking competition but César’s life turns upside down in just a few days. His family is broken up and he has to leave his son, who he loves. To make matters worse, he loses his perfectly healthy mother as well, crushing poor César’s heart. 

But in the competition set in a beautiful island resort, he runs into a woman who brings his morale up, and he and his friend end up having a good run at the competition. This is all the movie is, storywise. And the worst thing the makers do, is that they are able to take a short story which had the scope to be a refreshing tale of life, and turn it into a car wreck. The writing is shallow and keeps missing the spot. In some scenes, we could see the characters having pointless conversations one second, and all of a sudden, we could be in another scene where they just walk around enjoying life. Even with a story and setting that is not all that complicated, the makers make it complicated. 

In some of the scenes, the acting and scenarios are forced, and it is just too hard to miss. Be it César running into a damsel in distress or his friend just ending up eating a piece of paper, the only reason you might laugh in this movie is thinking how poorly made it is. The movie’s editing is also to be blamed, with it cutting into and out of scenes with no real connection and it honestly gets annoying at one point. 

The only positive this movie has, is its runtime. While we can conclude that the plot is not complicated, the makers have kept the movie to a runtime of a few minutes over an hour. And you will most certainly notice this, because you would rather see the movie ending, because it offers nothing new or even anything engaging. While it is about a man who just turned 40 who runs into a mid-life crisis, the movie rarely focuses on any of his problems a few minutes into its second act. And funnily enough, telling the story of a chef in a cooking competition, the movie also does not focus on the competition, and that should sum up 40 Years Young. 

While the storyline might deceive you into thinking that the movie could offer a pleasant and fulfilling movie experience such as Jon Favreau’s Chef, 40 Years Young just leaves you unsatisfied, annoyed and with a bad stomach. 

Verdict: 40 Years Young misses all the points, and just ends up being words on a paper. The magic of cinema is taken away by poor writing that is undercooked and it just becomes a few minutes of pointless conversations, poor jokes and a plot that just seems to vanish into thin air. This is a movie I would gladly recommend you skip.