Senior Life

The sharp divide between young and old over 'Everything'

by Len Lear
Posted 4/13/23

As a senior citizen, I was asked to write about an unexpected phenomenon, the apparent difference between the way old and young people view the Best Picture Oscar-winning “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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Senior Life

The sharp divide between young and old over 'Everything'


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” -- Henry Ford

As a senior citizen who feels much more like a junior citizen, (or even a sophomore citizen), I was asked to write about an unexpected phenomenon, the apparent difference between the way old people view the Best Picture Oscar-winning “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and the way young people view it.

I will admit that I am an old fogey, although many years ago I was probably a young fogey. I intensely disliked other movies such as “There Will Be Blood,” “Inception,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Lobster” and “Star Wars,” all of which received almost unanimous raves from the critics.

So I recently posted the following comment on the Mt. Airy/Nextdoor website: “This is a bit unusual for Nextdoor, but I would like to ask people who have seen 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' to write a comment or two about whether or not they liked it, and why. I am super-curious to know if my wife, sister-in-law and I are the only ones who feel the way we do. We went to see it yesterday, expecting to see a super-great movie. We all thought, however, that it was one of the worst movies we have ever seen...”

As it turned out, people are extraordinarily passionate about this move, both pro and con. As of April 2, the website reports that this posting prompted 11,900 views and 254 comments, every one of which I have read. About 55 percent of the respondents hated the movie; about 35 percent loved it, and about 10 percent seem to be under heavy medication.  

Susan B. of West Mt Airy wrote: “Gotta hand it to you, Len. You may have created the longest-running, most discussed post that I've seen in my five years of looking at this site.” In other words, subjects like racism, Donald Trump, violent crime, and Ukraine, have not stirred up feelings the way this movie has.

And the old age vs. youth dichotomy is apparently at work here. Stephani Richard of Erdenheim wrote, “Our kids said watching all Marvel movies with our grandchildren through the year made this movie understandable and great. We think it is a generational kerfuffle!! We are avid movie enjoyers and agree with you. Oscar awards are too political. Thumbs down from us (for 'Everything')!”

Here is a small sampling of the other comments: 

  • Georganne Fong, Melrose Park: “My husband and I are baby boomers and didn’t enjoy the movie. That seems to be the case for literally everyone we’ve spoken to in our age group. Consensus was it was just too chaotic. What is also true is that everyone we spoke to in younger generations loved it.” 
  • Jon Edelstein, S.E. Cynwyd: “I did not get the hype at all. It is not just you!”
  • Amber Loranger, Manayunk: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant and deserved the win 100%.”
  • Susan Caucci, Conshohocken: “You are not alone. My husband and I walked out of that film after about 40 minutes of suffering through it. I don't care how many awards it received; it sucked!”
  • Sarah DiGioia, West Mt Airy: “We thoroughly enjoyed it! So glad it won.”
  • Kim Caviston, Glenside: “My parents tried to watch it and couldn’t. Too much going on, jumping around, and the subtitles. They are in their mid-80s and just wanted to relax and watch a movie.”
  • Carol Davis, West Mt Airy: “My favorite movie of the year! Maybe you didn't appreciate the humor? I've watched it three times so far.”
  • Pat Jamison, Nicetown: “This was the worst movie I have ever seen in my life! It was an awful mess! I thought it might get better as it went along, but it did not. The more I watched, the worse it got!!! I have no idea why/how in the world did it win best picture! It was a horrible movie!!!”
  • Derek Sourwine, West Mt. Airy: “Len was only interested in finding people that agreed with him and nothing more.” (Probably true).
  • Ally Trull, West Mt. Airy: “I loved this movie! I had to watch it twice to actually understand it, though. I thought it was ... unlike any other movie I've seen before!”
  • Karen Sweeney, North Hills: “I have seen thousands of movies, and I think that was the only one I wanted to walk out of. I could not relate or enjoy it at all. So then I see that it got all these awards, and I'm asking myself what's wrong with me? I am a musician, very creative, but I just couldn't deal with that movie!”
  • Ben Loughin, Chestnut Hill: “Loved that the movie made light of itself and even in the serious moments didn’t take itself too seriously.”
  • Sherry Butterworth, Glenside: “I watched it for free in my living room, or I would be more upset. I agree with everything you said. I have struggled with depression most of my life, and having found the right medication, why would I ever want to watch a movie that shows me what my life was once like? I watched all of it, but I’m sorry that I did.”
  • Sue Gordon, Erdenheim: “I did not understand it either, but now that I heard others speak about what it represented, I may try to watch it again on TV. I felt it was the worst movie I saw this year.”

Len Lear can be reached at