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“This Is 40” – Review (SO-SO)

December 25, 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-25 at 6.03.55 PMFor me this was my biggest disappointment for the entire year. I love Judd Apatow, my favorite film of his to this day is “Funny People”, a highly underrated comedy/drama, and features one of the best acting performances of Adam Sandler’s career. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was a classic and “Knocked Up” was seriously hilarious, the supporting players of that movie for me made the film. Jason Segel, Charlene Yi, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann were fantastic in the roles given to them. So, Judd decided to make a clever decision, do a spin-off/kinda-sorta-sequel following Rudd & Mann’s characters Pete & Deb.

Five years after the events of “Knocked Up”, Pete (Rudd) & Deb (Mann) are still at each others throats, their kids (Maude & Iris Apatow) are getting older, one of which very hormonal, and they’re both turning 40. Turning 40 is the turning point for any adult, and in Judd Apatow’s film he doesn’t hold back on the dysfunction this family goes through. Lending money to cheap fathers (Albert Brooks), failing business’, tight on money, change health styles, trying to become more family oriented, limiting the use of electronics in the house, and so on. All this is very relatable in some way, either from the kids perspective or the parents, however with all the Apatow is showing off, the biggest issue with the film is the self-indulgency the movie throws at you.

It’s hard to relate to these characters, who’re basically selfish, upper middle class, with ‘white people problems’. These people are on a tight budget since both of their business’ are not doing to hot and yet moments later Pete & Deb take a weekend get away at a five star resort/spa. I’m sorry, but I do not feel sorry for these people, nor can I really empathize with them and their problems. Not to mention this movie suffers from that mild Apatow issue that I usually tend to overlook, it’s too damn long, perhaps 40 mins too long. A 2 hour and 15 min runtime for a comedy becomes tedious and boring, especially with this movies subject matter.

With all that said, the cast does pretty well at what they do best, being funny. More importantly being funny during all the really funny scenes. Apatow’s real life young daughters reprise their roles from “Knocked Up”, with the oldest, Maude, being exceptionally funny, because lets face it, there’s nothing funnier than a 13 year old saying to their parents, ‘Fuck you!’, with Rudd’s Pete amusingly replying with, ‘Ok there it is, our first official “fuck you”.’ Of course being an Apatow movie, he needs to utilize characters from recent films that America has fallen in love with, that’s right, I’m looking at you Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy was the Oscar nominated supporting actress of “Bridesmaids”, and she can do no wrong stealing a scene. The memorable one being in the school principle’s office, with Pete & Deb.

I’d like to think that may be Judd is having his own midlife crisis in his filmmaking career and the irony of it is shown through the potency of this films worth. Hopefully he’ll bounce back with something more…“40-Year-Old Virgin”-ish, because this just didn’t do it for me one bit, he’s better than this, and his cast deserved much more to work with. I mean, c’mon, you know your movies in trouble when one of your best developed characters is played by Megan Fox.

GRADE: C-

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