F is for The Forty-Year-Old Version #AToZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

April 7, 2021

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix) new? And if it’s new, doesn’t that inherently make it stressful? And the answer to those two questions is yes. Yes, it is new. And yes that means it could be stressful. HOWEVER, I can assure you it’s not because I have already watched it!

the forty year old version

Friends, please trust me when I tell you that I would not suggest something stressful for you to watch, new or not. Now, the premise may sound stressful since it’s about an almost forty-year-old playwright who has been struggling to get plays produced and therefore switches gears and starts rapping. I mean, there is a lot of not happy already wrapped up in that sentence because the struggle is real. Also, the movie is in black and white, which could be a huge turn-off for those of us who need a little color in our lives.

So I acknowledge all of those things, but I would encourage you to still give it a chance if you are in need of a comfort watch that’s a one-and-done commitment. There’s no book you may also want to read! It’s not a series! It is a very well-crafted movie with a runtime of two hours and nine minutes that feels like a lean hour and fifty.

Right, so, the reason this movie works is that although main character Radha is struggling with her career, she teaches at a high school. Do you know what that means? Teen shenanigans! So there is a lot of humor threaded throughout the movie, especially in her interactions with her students but also with her best friend who is also her manager. And since her best friend is also her manager, you know what that means: friendship love story! So that’s already two things to make you want to watch.

The third, of course, is watching Radha pursue rapping. The audience watches her come up with lyrics, practice them in the mirror (think Issa Rae in Insecure), and also go in search of beats, which leads her to interact with some young men in their twenties, which leads to even more humor. There’s a lot of humor is what I’m saying.

There’s also a romance, but you probably guessed that. You can also probably guess from my descriptions so far where that whole thing happens.

If you’re a writer or a person of a certain age, I think you will find a lot of Radha’s story relatable. If you’re a person whose life looks completely different than what you thought it would, you’ll definitely find Radha’s story relatable. And if you’re a person who likes slice of life stories that make you laugh, you’ll enjoy watching Radha navigate her world.

Oh, and yes, you do find out why the movie is in black and white at the end. Plus, look at that poster! I mean, come on.

Hi, I’m obsessed with this movie, and I want everyone to watch it. Trust me on this one. If you watch something new and unfamiliar during the pandemic, you want it to be this movie, which is guaranteed to make you laugh but also has a whole lot of heart.

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on comfort reads/watches as we enter our second (!) April in the pandemic. Tune in tomorrow to see what I choose for G!

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  1. Katherine Nabity

    I saw that this was a new film on Netflix (how could I not, Netflix being Netflix) and, honestly, it sounds like a great movie! I look forward to it!

    • Akilah

      It’s so fun. I hope you like it!


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