42 Up Review
By Christopher Null
It gets longer every seven years!
Now clocking in at a monstrous 2 hours, 19 minutes, the sixth installment of Michael Apted's ambitious but uniformly unenlightening Seven Up! series drags us down a familiar road, kicking and screaming all the way.
Yet again, Apted shows us how the baker's dozen of Brit-kids he first profiled 35 years ago (and most recently in 35 Up) have turned out exactly as you would have expected. Or the complete opposite. But even that turns out to be a lie, as Apted turns the words of a seven year old girl ("I don't want kids!") into a supposed absolute, then purporting to amuse us when the woman has a family of three, as if the predictions of a seven year old have any bearing whatsoever on reality.
In 42 Up, Apted chooses to look into the dual themes of relationship issues and people contracting rare illnesses, a pairing which is rarely interesting yet frequently nonsensical.
Frankly, I'm ready for the Seven Up! series to go away altogether -- nothing has changed at all in the last seven years, and what has changed is essentially pretty boring. Let it go, Michael. Your subjects are obviously ready to do the same.
Aka Forty Two Up.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Tuesday 21st July 1998
Distributed by: First Run Features
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 4
Cast & Crew
Starring: Bruce Balden as Himself (as Bruce), Jacqueline Bassett as Herself (as Jackie), Symon Basterfield as Himself (as Symon), Andrew Brackfield as Himself (as Andrew), John Brisby as Himself (archive footage) (as John), Suzanne Dewey as Herself (as Suzy), Charles Furneaux as Himself (archive footage) (as Charles), Nicholas Hitchon as Himself (as Nick), Neil Hughes as Himself (as Neil), Lynn Johnson as Herself (as Lynn), Paul Kligerman as Himself (as Paul), Tony Walker as Himself (as Tony), Susan Sullivan as Herself (as Sue)