Movie Review: This is 40 (2012)

Posted: October 15, 2013 in Comedy

this is 40


Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are both turning 40.  Pete owns a record label, named Retro records, a label that specializes in classic rock.  Pete has signed Graham Parker, but the record isn’t selling and the label is suffering.  Debbie is the owner of a boutique, and she thinks one of her workers has stolen 12,000 dollars from the boutique.  Jodi (Charlene Yi) accuses Desi (Megan Fox) of taking the money and Desi accuses Jodi of taking the money.  Making the money difficulties worse, Pete has lent his dad Larry (Albert Brooks) 80,000.  Pete and Debbie’s girls, Sadie (Maude Apatow) and  Charlotte (Iris Apatow) don’t like each other, and Debbie’s got a secret for Pete, she’s expecting another child. Does Pete’s record company get out of financial trouble?  Does Debbie find out who stole the money from her boutique?  Does Pete tell Debbie that he lent his father a boatload of money?  Does Debbie tell Pete that she’s pregnant?

This is 40 has a few funny scenes and jokes, but for the most part, it’s a very conventional, clichéd comedy.  A middle-aged married couple is growing apart as they grow older, so they decide to change the way they’re living to see if that helps their floundering marriage.  They have two daughters, one precocious pre-teen, one obnoxious teen who hates her parents and the world.  What’s more, it doesn’t add any insight about being married at middle age.  It has a lot of crude language about sex, it’s a Judd Apatow production after all.  The length of this movie is inexcusable, 2 hours and 15 minutes, for a comedy.  There are very few movies that I would watch for 2 hours and 15 minutes, this is definitely not one of them.  This movie just drags on and on, for no good reason. And when it turns serious and the characters are screaming at each other, I asked myself why I was watching this movie.

The acting is ok, I’m kind of up and down on Paul Rudd, he can be great like in I Love You Man, or he can be not-so great.  He has funny moments in this movie, but after a while his character grates on me.  Leslie Mann is less funny, and more grating than Rudd’s character.  The girls who play the kids are Apatow and Mann’s own kids, so they are probably just playing themselves, and interacting the way they do at home, but why would  Apatow allow them to play such clichéd roles, the teen is a horror, she whines about everything and thinks everything is the end of the world.  The younger daughter is smart beyond her years (typical) but gets no love from her sibling. Jason Segal is funny, but only in a few scenes. Everyone knows why Megan Fox is in the movie, for the men to ogle at.  There’s even a scene with Fox that’s reminiscent of Phoebe Cates in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.  Albert Brooks and John Lithgow are oddly unfunny. Melissa McCarthy has a cameo, but she’s essentially ad-libbing and playing the same role as she did in Bridesmaids, so watch that instead, it’s much funnier.

If this is two hours and fifteen minutes of Apatow’s life, I pity him.

This is 40. Judd stubs his Apatow.


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