The 40-Year-Old Version parents guide

The 40-Year-Old Version Parent Guide

Pretentious, profane, and with unpleasant sexual content, this film is not recommended for anyone.

Overall D

Netflix: Radha has struggled for years to breakout as a playwright, and after winning a "30 under 30" award, she's desperate to make her career work before she's 40. Realizing she might need to branch out, she reinvents herself as a rapper, trying to use the success in one field to get her into the other...

Release date October 9, 2020

Violence C
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is The 40-Year-Old Version rated ? The MPAA rated The 40-Year-Old Version

Run Time: 89 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Radha Blank (Radha Blank) won a “30 under Thirty” playwright award and assumed she had it made. That was ten years ago, and nothing’s happened. She’s still behind on her rent, still can’t get anyone to stage a major production of her work, and she’s started teaching to pay the bills. And since the recent death of her mother, Radha doesn’t see things getting any better. Deciding to reinvent herself, she meets up with D (Oswin Benjamin), a DJ who produces beats for aspiring hip-hop artists in exchange for weed. If Radha can launch a hip-hop career will she be able to leverage that into theatrical success? Or is she just fooling herself by thinking she can rap?

There’s….a lot going on here. Let’s start with the content. There’s a metric ton of profanity, extensive drug use, and more sexual content than you’d necessarily want to see. I was initially almost impressed, since apart from the crude language, actual sexual depictions were fairly mild. That is, they were fairly mild until the colorized close-up shot of a man’s testicles. Apart from being completely unnecessary, that wasn’t what I wanted to see while eating my lunch. So, if you decide to give this a watch, considered yourself warned: the third act includes a real appetite suppressant.

Radha’s story is interesting in terms of its implications and discussions but not so much in its actual structure. Her journey through artistic pursuits raises really important questions about how black artists face completely different challenges in getting their work shown, and what kind of art white producers will even allow. Despite this plot tension, Radha just seems kind of aimless. I imagine that’s part of the point, with a sort of middle age ennui, but it doesn’t make for a thrilling film – especially because the protagonist is remarkably unlikeable for about two thirds of the runtime. She does improve, but most of the movie is just Radha treating her friends and associates remarkably poorly.

This isn’t family entertainment, but it doesn’t bill itself as such. It’s a very self-absorbed and introspective portrait of an artist, and if that’s your kind of thing, maybe you’ll enjoy this more than I did. But if you’re not a fan of ponderous self-importance, profanity, and random male genitals, perhaps find something else to watch. I sure wish I had. On the basis of testicles alone. I feel like I got flashed.

Directed by Radha Blank. Starring Radha Blank, Peter Kim, and Oswin Benjamin. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release October 9, 2020. Updated

The 40-Year-Old Version
Rating & Content Info

Violence: A fistfight breaks out between two characters. An individual is briefly choked.
Sexual Content: There are frequent crude and graphic sexual references throughout. An individual deliberately eavesdrops on her neighbors having sex. There is a sex scene and a scene of flashing, neither of which contain nudity. There is a close-up shot of testicles.
Profanity: There are 88 uses of extreme profanity, 97 uses of scatological cursing, and frequent use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are frequently shown smoking marijuana. An adult character is briefly shown drinking.

Page last updated

The 40-Year-Old Version Parents' Guide

Do you think rap was a good choice for Radha? What else could she have decided to do? What do you think you would have done in her place?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

In Wild Rose, a young woman tries to make it as a country singer…in Scotland.

The High Note shows the challenges of being a middle-aged black singer through the eyes of her young, white assistant.

A woman is so desperate to have a second shot at success that she lies about her resume in Second Act.