The similarities to The 40 Year Old Version were really startling. Both were about 40-something failed NYC artists, teaching frustratingly talentless public school students while still trying to get their belated big break. In both cases, they do get that big break against all odds, and find it disappointing, then wonder what it’s all about. I’m know I’m not supposed to prefer the version co-written and co-directed by a white person, but alas I do. This movie was both thoughtful and a delight.
Storyteller’s Rulebook: Upset the Expectations that Carry Over from Other Movies
This movie’s complex cosmology is similar to both Inside Out and Coco, neither of which I liked very much. One reason I disliked those movies is that I thought they were too bleak, so I didn’t trust this one. In fact, at the end, when he’s given the chance to go be alive again or not, I thought, “Wait, crap, this is Pixar, is he going to just choose to stay dead, because that’s how morbid these things have gotten?” I was delighted when he didn’t! After the “kids should accept depression” movie, and the “kids should accept death” movie, we finally got a “adults should refuse to accept depression or death” movie, and it was very gratifying.