Age ain’t nothing but a number

December 20th, 2012 by Ben

“Age ain’t nothing but a number,” such are the words of one of my personal heroes, Andre 3000 from Outkast. It means not to judge a person by his or her age. A young kid could be acting mature for his age, and some elderly person could be acting like a teen. It’s an argument around the world whether you tend to act your age, or your mind stays young while the rest of you ages.  Makes you wonder though, is growing up fun? Is it worth it? Or are our best moments in life our earliest ones? I can tell you that this humble blogger is 28 years old, and I’m loving life just as it is right now. In my own mind, I feel like I’m still 20.  Winking smile

So come on, let’s review the different decades of a lifetime and see which has the upper-hand:

The Youngster Take

Juno (2007)

You can’t talk about teenage life without talking about Juno. This relatively recent addition to the movie-verse talks about a young girl who becomes pregnant and decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. It is probably one of the sweetest movies of recent years. It’s clever, it makes you feel good and it lifts your spirits. Directed by Jason Reitman – son of long time director Ivan Reitman. If you never saw this one, do yourself a huge favor and see it.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990)

Most of the people I know (including myself) grew up watching this witty and humorous TV show. Nothing better defines a stereotypical teenager than a teen that’s rebellious. Having said that, you get Will Smith with his portrayal of a teen from Philadelphia, best known as the Fresh Prince. Will is a street kid who was sent to his relatives in California in order to learn some respectable manners; of course Will has different plans in mind. Having a natural social difference creates a large variety of gags and mishaps. Check it out here to feel a surge of nostalgia run through your veins.

The Young Adult Take

Friends (1994)

One of the most defining sitcoms of the 90s. From Rachel’s haircuts that all women went crazy for, to Chandler’s clever, cynical jokes. The show revolved around six twenty-something close friends living in Manhattan, dealing with life’s trials and tribulations and solving them through the best way they know – sitting at Central Perk and drinking coffee. I believe that one of the elements that made this show so successful was that it felt completely authentic. You weren’t watching actors reading lines out from a script, you saw real friends on the screen, and THAT’s what good television is all about.

How I Met Your Mother (2005)

This is THE trending show of the current decade. Much like ‘Friends’, this is yet another show about five friends, instead of six, dealing with life’s problems in New York City, the best way they know how – by drinking beer at McLarens Pub below their house. Barney Stinson is basically a role model for awesomeness for any type of single-dating men. The above clip can show you a fine example of what he calls “The Bro Code” on how he and his friends pick up chicks. Moreover, I have to admit that even I have a pub called McLarens next to my house, whose name and menu were inspired by the pub in the show. This show has set the bar on being young, free and experiencing life to it’s fullest.

Being an Adult – The Thirties Take

Seinfeld (1990)

This critically acclaimed sitcom is the most famous and known TV show of the 90s; the show that really is about nothing, as seen in the above clip. The show is about comedian Jerry Seinfeld as a fictional spin on himself, and how he spends his thirty-something life in New York with his unforgettable quirky and whacky friends – George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Kramer. One of the things that I found to be so great about this show was the over-analyzing of almost every small detail and situation in life, whether it was dating, job interviews/meetings with certain people or just off-beat habits that people have. Whatever it was, it simply showed the true nature of people and how sometimes you are what you are without any good reason, except for the fact that “you’re just wired that way.”

High Fidelity (2000)

Rob is a thirty-something record store owner that has everything going on for him except for one thing – you guessed it – romance. Throughout the story, Rob introspects and tries to understand what’s wrong in his relationships and looks for answers. But this is not a movie about just one person. Rob also hires two clerks (one of them is the notoriously funny Jack Black) to work part time in his store, though both of them are at the store 6 days a week, most likely because they have nowhere else to go. This film reflects the all-too-well-known problems of ordinary people that are just “stuck” in life and don’t know how to move forward. It is probably John Cusack’s best performance, known for breaking the fourth wall and talking to the viewer on several occasions.

Middle of the Road – Middle Age Take

A Serious Man (2009)

If you are up to date on current TV Shows, then you are probably watching ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and you’re familiar with the name Arnold Rothstein. You’ll be surprised to look back a few years and see him starring in this Coen brothers drama about a middle aged man called Larry Gopnik who is completely down on his luck – his wife is divorcing him, his brother is an uninvited guest in his house, his son gets high on his own bar-mitzva, and much more. It is a very different type of movie from what you’re used to seeing. It’s highly cynical and atmospheric, so you must proceed with caution; it requires quite a bit of patience to take in such a movie.

This is 40 (2012)

Judd Apatow takes us a few years later in life, to tell the story of Pete and Debby, who appeared in its predecessor ‘Knocked Up’ (also by the same director.) The movie deals with the various conflicts of married life, and the difficulty in balancing relationships, parenthood and self-fulfillment while making it all work out for the best. I really liked Knocked Up, amongst other reasons mainly because I like Judd’s gang, which he uses frequently in his productions, but I believe that Seth and Katherine weren’t as funny as the rest of the cast in the first movie so I am looking forward to the sequel’s release to see those funny familiar faces.

Towards Retirement – The Elderly Take

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

You can’t address the Golden Age without mentioning Jack Nicholson at least once. In this romantic comedy, Harry avoids dating women his own age, and Erica (Diane Keaton) gave up on finding a fulfilling relationship. Despite them being initially antagonists, as the saying goes “opposites attract” and they become drawn to each other, developing a relationship that neither of them expected could actually happen. My personal take: It’s one of those movies that are so sweet and make you feel so good, it’s really a shame to miss it. Watch it and understand that getting older may not be as bad as it’s made out to be.

The Bucket List (2007)

Before we “kick the bucket” as the movie says, let’s join Jack once again with Morgan Freeman and take a journey around the world, to see its great wonders and cherish every moment that’s left for us, instead of being grumpy and disgruntled over our inevitable deaths. Both Edward and Carter have to fight terminal illness, but as stated above, the way they deal with their health situation is far from standard.

So in conclusion, what’s the best decade to live in? The answer is none! As it is with everything in life, it is all a matter of perspective, not to mention that everything is in the eye of the beholder. It is my humble opinion that it’s not about being (or acting) a certain age, it’s about the journey itself through all those ages that makes life worth living. It’s the sum of all the experiences and the knowledge you acquire that makes you appreciate everything you have, and everything you did.

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