This is 40 Review
Judd Apatow brought us a lot of the best R rated comedies in this last decade, filled with crude-language humor, sex jokes and dysfunctional families’ taboo situations. This is 40 is Apatow’s latest piece, and knowing his work, this should have been a comedy filled with drama and life-realizations. Instead, it’s a stretched-up drama with some humor and heavy contemplation at life when you grow up and get to that age when everything seem irrevocably fragile.
This is 40 brings us up to date with some of the Knocked Up characters we’ve got to know, this time, without any real central story-arc. It mainly focuses on the life of Pete (Paul Rudd), Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their two daughters, and how their dramatic leap to their forties is affecting their role as parents, couple, as well as their relationship with their own parents.
You can tell Apatow put a lot of thought and effort into creating settings that are well-versed in what it feels to turn that defying age and face some sort of mid-life crisis. The film expresses the inevitable fear that it is to age, and the doubts that will come in-between your decisions, now always steered by your family’s well-being. The characters are more than believable but sometimes the situation they’re in can often create a too-high climax and breaks the spell of the moment, making us realize that no one can really be like that.
Expecting a certain type of comedy, this could be a little disappointing for any Apatow fans, given the weight of the movie versus the comedic aspect it poorly offers, contrary to how the movie was originally marketed. Of course, I knew this wasn’t going to be the over-the-top comedy a lot of people were expecting, it still brings some familiar fart, sex and drugs gags we all love to see from the franchise.
That said, its pace is what hurts it the most, not having a concrete central pivotal point or any direct focus whatsoever. Making it revolve around Pete and Debbie’s family, it had no big aspect to show for it but small and spaced-out events which drag the movie to a point where it feels like there will never be an appropriate ending t it.
The comedic relief, when it occurs, it is often satisfying although the type of humor that is reused in a lot of raunchy R rated comedies. The gags are a little too far apart and so can’t help but feeling like you’re watching something way more serious that what you wanted to in the first place.
This is 40 has some really good acting and gathered a pretty solid cast including Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow and of course, most of Apatow’s family (his two daughters and his wife, Leslie Mann). I didn’t mention Megan Fox on purpose, in case you’re wondering. The characters are really what make this movie the little delight it can be, solely relying on their roles and their respective relatable situations they find themselves in.
In the end, This is 40 is not the big movie event of the year, nor Apatow’s best work, but it tends to have its moments here and there. Too lengthy for the message it tries to send, and makes it hard to really narrow down some of the principle ideas and themes since it has no central focal point. Its humor often helps alleviate its heavy structure, but can’t help but feel like it’s a bit of a shamble.
Theatrical release date: December 21, 2012
Director: Judd Apatow
Run time: 134 minutes