Thursday, April 11, 2013

This is 40 (Movie Reveiw)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:26 AM with 2 comments

Rating: 3 out of 5
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2013

This is 40 is the latest offering from Director Judd Apatow of Knocked Up and The 40 year-old Virgin fame. The movie follows Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), who first appeared as secondary characters in Knocked Up, in the week that both of them turn 40--although Debbie feigns 38. This movie is obviously personal and at least partially autobiographical for Judd Apatow as he is married to Leslie Mann and Pete and Debbie's daughters are played by Judd and Leslie's actual daughters. In other words, you are watching Judd's family with Paul Rudd standing in for Judd (Rudd for Judd...hmmm).

I found This is 40 to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the film is warm and (mostly) funny. Paul and Leslie are both the type of actors you could imagine being friends with in real life. But on the other hand, the film is disjointed and too long for what it is.

What worked:
* The portrayal of marriage. Marriage is hard work. It just is. And you don't have to have kids to understand the the trials and tribulations Pete and Debbie are going through. My husband and I chuckled knowingly throughout the film as we watched Pete and Debbie fight and make-up and discuss how they would murder each other if they had the chance. Pete hides in the bathroom to play Words with Friends. Debbie goes out dancing and gets hit on by a Philadelphia Flyer. (Favorite cameo in a movie of all time: Ian Laperriere, former Colorado Avalanche. He's not the one who hits on her, but Megan Fox does put in his false teeth. Which is totally gross, I know.)

* The portrayal of aging. I'm still a few years off from hitting 40, but aging sucks. I understand Debbie's infatuation with keeping her body in shape and trying to hold on to her 30s.

* The secondary characters and cameos. This movie is full of funny, awesome actors. Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Chris O'Dowd, Lena Dunham, and Megan McCarthy (hers is the funniest) all pop up periodically, giving the movie the levity it needs.

What didn't:
* Rich people problems. It's kind of hard to care that Pete and Debbie may have to sell their enormous house in order to move into a smaller one. Especially when Pete drives a BMW. Oh, and their jobs are boutique owner and record company owner. Please.

* Their own parents. I found the whole thing with Pete's dad (who constantly mooches off of the couple) especially tiring, and really, the whole subplot about Pete and Debbie's fathers in general was annoying.

* Debbie's boutique. In which she never works. Never.

* The editing. For real, there were a couple parts in which the characters seem to be responding to something that was cut out, making several scenes confusing and disjointed.

Overall, I enjoyed This is 40. While it definitely has its issues, the film as a whole is warm and funny. It's a perfectly pleasant way to spend an afternoon/evening.

Also, watch the credits. There is an extended outtake with Melissa McCarthy that may actually be the best part of the whole movie.


  1. I have to agree with you on this one, Natalie! It had really funny parts but then parts that were too tedious for a comedy film. Plus, I had a really hard time believing that Rudd & Mann's characters were in THAT much of financial difficulty. Did you see their cars and their house? I mean, really? Totally wasn't buying it. Overall, I thought it had it's moments but was generally so-so.

  2. Yes the money problems were unbelievable. I did enjoy the film overall. It was a perfectly pleasant way to spend an evening, both Rudd and Mann are extremely likable, but the film is uneven and could have used some more editing. Thanks for stopping by!


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