40 Years Young Ending, Explained: Who Is Enrique’s Father?

With Italian-born director Pietro Loprieno in the driving seat, Mexican-original Netflix forays ’40 Years Young’ (‘Cuarentones’) is an eclectic mix of romantic comedy and travel cinema, all topped with an existential concern. The story takes us to an ambient Italian restaurant in Mexico City. Despite personal turmoil, Cesar heads to a culinary competition with best friend and confidante Paolo, hoping to find a new zest for life. The ending is as fast-paced as it is open-ended. Thus, some questions may linger in the mind of the viewer. If you are willing to ask them, let us come up with some answers. SPOILERS AHEAD.

40 Years Young Plot Synopsis

After delivering an animate gastronomic experience at his restaurant L’Allegria in New Mexico, Paolo speaks to his accountant to learn more about the financial situation. Paolo’s right-hand man is Cesar, who has a picture-perfect family with his wife Amelia and son Enrique. However, Paolo notices that Cesar is a little too generous, giving up his birthday for Amelia’s Europe vacation. Paolo also tells Cesar about the culinary competition in Cancun, as Delicacies Magazine has invited them. Meanwhile, Cesar knows about Horatio, a hacker who was in a relationship with Amelia before Cesar appeared in the picture.

For ten years, Cesar has not known much about Amelia’s past, which further induces depression in him. With the world’s weight on his shoulders, Cesar heads to Cancun with Paolo, and they seize the day. While lazing by an underground river, Cesar sees a woman named Naomi screaming from a possible snake bite. He saves Naomi, injuring his leg in the process. As the competition trudges towards the final, Cesar and Naomi’s encounters become more intimate each time, with a bit of encouragement from Paolo. However, Naomi leaves without a farewell on the day of the competition finale, and Cesar’s daydream falls apart.

40 Years Young Ending: Who Is Enrique’s Father?

In the movie’s early moments, Cesar’s life takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Cesar’s wife, Amelia, was dating a hacker activist named Horatio while she started dating Cesar. Horatio then went to jail to serve a sentence of ten years. In the meantime, Cesar knew nothing about Horatio. Therefore, when Cesar returns from the restaurant to see Amelia speaking to a guy with tattoos and chains, he needs an explanation on Amelia’s behalf. In the meantime, Horatio wants to meet Enrique, Cesar’s son, and their faces are seemingly identical. Moreover, Cesar’s world comes crashing down when Amelia tells him that Horatio is Enrique’s biological father. She apparently had no idea about Horatio being Enrique’s father, which accounts for some rebuke from her mother.

When Cesar is out for the competition, the doubt haunts him. Cesar decides to tell Naomi the whole conundrum in precise detail, hoping to get some insight. When Cesar doubts the validity of the DNA test, Naomi asks Cesar to go with his heart and redo the test if necessary. At the end of the film, Cesar meets Amelia, Horatio, and Enrique at a hospital. Following Cesar’s qualms, Enrique gives Cesar a lock of his hair for the DNA test. Cesar reads the result by tearing an envelope, but as the scene cuts to him speaking to his mother at the graveyard, we do not get a definite answer. However, as Cesar tells his mother that a lot in his life has changed, we guess that Horatio and not Cesar is Enrique’s biological father.

Do Cesar And Naomi End Up Together?

No, Cesar and Naomi would not end up together, even if Cesar and Amelia’s divorce seems to be final. In the medical facility, Cesar offers everyone but Amelia home-baked cookies. Then, when he speaks to his deceased mother, Yolanda, about the “change,” we sense they will go their separate ways. However, whether Cesar and Naomi have another stint at romance remains subject to speculation.  Hours before their competition finale, Cesar and Paolo realize that Naomi and Celina have left the hotel. Paolo already knew this, and despite Amelia’s appearance, the duo heads to the airport to catch Naomi one last time.

Cesar and Paolo seem to be in luck as they glimpse Naomi and Celina at the gate. Naomi tells Cesar that although their chemistry was great, they met at a time in their lives when nothing could be done. Therefore, the early feelings were great while they lasted, but Naomi had to go back to her life at the end of the vacation. Naomi lives in Chicago, while Cesar’s home is in Mexico City. Both stay an international border apart. Naomi does not even leave a phone number to retain the mystery. In her opinion, endings are overrated — a notion Cesar resonates with. Therefore, it is not probable for them to end up together, although the world works in mysterious ways. If there is a sequel, we would have a different notion.

Do Paolo And Cesar Win The Competition?

Yes! They fare well in the competition, even if they only came in second place. But the movie suggests that you are winning if you live in the moment, despite the apparent outcome. Cesar and Paolo win a minor trophy, although they don’t get the 20000 dollars to revive the business. Presumably, as it often happens in these competitions, they still win a smaller amount of money and make the best of it. Let’s also consider the stay at the hotel, the delicious food, champagne, and the priceless time Cesar and Paolo spent with Naomi and Celina. The reward seems to be the journey rather than the outcome.

The movie uses chocolate as a metaphor to reinforce its argument against the fear of missing out. Cesar used to like Swiss chocolates, but he got Belgian and had to make the most of the ingredients. Enrique later brings Cesar American chocolates, and they are actually pretty good, as Cesar concludes. Therefore, you may hold your reservations for some avenues, but they may lead to further adventures. Consequently, one should not anticipate, the movie concurs. This way, the film’s ending somehow bypasses melancholia, as it grounds us in the transience of the present.

Read More: Is 40 Years Young Based on A True Story?