‘My Old Ass’ Review: Funny, Charming, and Surprisingly Emotional 

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My Old Ass (2024) © LuckyChap Entertainment
My Old Ass (2024) © LuckyChap Entertainment

Directed and written by Megan Park in her sophomore feature, My Old Ass is a beautiful film. Shot in a scenic location that many may be unfamiliar with and featuring some particularly heartstring-pulling moments, it’s not a film that the audience will easily forget. 

★★★★☆

Set and filmed on the shores of Lake Joseph in Muskoka, which provides the scenic backdrop for the movie, My Old Ass begins with 18-year-old Elliott (Maisy Stella) deciding to celebrate her birthday with her best friends Ro (Kerrice Brooks) and Ruthie (Maddie Ziegler) and a cup of mushroom-infused tea. Elliott initially complains about not feeling the effects of the drugs—and then she meets her 39-year-old self (Aubrey Plaza). As the film goes on, Elliott seeks her older self’s advice on how to navigate her last summer at home before moving to Toronto for college. While following most of what her older counterpart has suggested, she struggles to stay clear of a guy named Chad (Percy Hynes White) who seems, in young Elliott’s eyes, to have absolutely nothing wrong with him.

My Old Ass relies heavily on the relationships between Elliott and the people around her, whether that is her family, friends, or her older self. From the moment the film starts, every interaction with the people she loves feels very natural, comfortable and convincing. Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza give stand-out performances; the scenes where the teenage Elliott talks to her adult self are at once the funniest and most emotional of the entire film. The two actors are so excellent against each other that it doesn’t even matter if they could realistically be the respectively younger and older versions of the same person – although they look quite different from each other, they match each other’s energy perfectly. 

In the brilliant and layered performances of both Stella and Plaza, the audience can see Elliott’s different sides as well as her character development. The two Elliotts we are presented with are very different: Plaza’s character is more reflective and nostalgic of the past that Stella’s Elliott is currently living. The latter, however, exhibits the classic traits of teenagers and young adults with her reckless and impulsive attitude. Interestingly, Plaza’s Elliott is always weary of sharing details of their life with teenager Elliott who has to constantly pry for more but does not learn much about her future life. There is something beautiful and heartwarming about how Elliott wants her younger self to have something to look forward to, keeping an area of mystery for both Elliott and the audience. 

My Old Ass is not the only film to use the trope of time travelling or meeting an older or younger version of the main character—nor will it be the last—but it does so in a new and refreshing way. The film often feels self-aware of how this trope is often used and subverts our expectations;, Elliott’s initial meeting with her adult self is more of a mistake than anything else, one caused by her use of recreational drugs rather than by fate or some cosmic encounter.

My Old Ass (2024) © LuckyChap Entertainment

As Elliott takes her older self’s advice and tries to enjoy her last summer at home, the film does not fail to make the audience reflect on the uniquely weird transitional time between high school and college. My Old Ass perfectly encapsulates the pain of growing up and realising life is inevitably changing as time goes by. “The only thing you can’t get back is time. It goes by so fast,” the older Elliott reflects. Perhaps the viewers can too follow in Elliott’s footsteps and learn to be “young, dumb and brave enough to do anything.”

These very emotional moments are well paired with an excellent comedy that is best enjoyed in a cinema with the rest of the audience laughing out loud together. My Old Ass’s more humorous sequences are laugh-out-loud funny, with brilliant comedic timing from everyone involved. The balance between heartwarming moments and comedy is achieved perfectly in a film that will leave anyone watching it with tears in their eyes, both from sobbing and laughing too hard almost at the same time.

The Verdict

With its witty humour, My Old Ass is able to set itself apart from the myriad of films set around a confused teenager moving away from her hometown and starting a new life. Its unique mix of funny moments, heartwarming sequences and beautiful scenery are paired with important life lessons, both for Elliott and the audience watching. In the coming-of-age genre, My Old Ass is a quiet and sweet gem that is certainly one of this year’s best.

Words by Clotilde Chinnici

My Old Ass is available in UK cinemas from 27th September.


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