THIS IS 40
After many years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) is the sole male in a household that includes his wife, Debbie (Leslie Mann), and two young daughters (Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow). As Pete struggles to keep his record label afloat, he and Debbie navigate a three-week course of sex and romance, career victories and financial hardships, aging parents and maturing children. They'll have to learn to forgive, forget and enjoy the rest of their lives -- before they kill each other.
Director: Judd Apatow
Cast: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks, Chris O'Dowd.
Release Date: Dec 21, 2012
Rated R for pervasive Language, Crude Humor, Sexual Content and Some Drug Material
Runtime: 2 hr. 14 min.
This is 40 is Judd Apatow’s 2nd uneven film in a row. Honestly, you might start to wonder if he’s losing touch with the type of humor that really put him on the map. The honestly and crassness is here but it only makes an appearance here and there in between grating arguments between 2 incredibly well meaning leads. The better part of the blame for the faults falls on Apatow who wrote the film. His leads aren’t ever particularly likable and come off as annoying and entitled throughout. A meandering molasses like pace doesn’t help matter either. The film trudges slowly and aimlessly towards an unresolved ending which leaves the audience with questions but so exhausted that they couldn’t be bothered to ask what will happen afterwards. 2 hours plus for a comedy is a stretch at best, something Apatow could get away with in The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up with a better story even then just barely, but here it’s just a drag. The film feels longer than The Hobbit by a mile. Paul Rudd does his best to pull the film out of its doldrums. He and Leslie Mann do share some good comedic chemistry as displayed in Knocked Up but here when it’s front and center for the entire film it makes the entire thing look like a fool’s errand. That’s not to say there are some strong scenes with plenty of laughs because there are. The problem is that there are twice as many scenes of them arguing or fretting about manufactured problems throughout. Mann is likable, she works well as a supporting player but here her acting shortcomings are on full display and her bugged eyed occasionally emaciated figure can start to wear on a viewer. The supporting cast is strong but only Albert Brooks and Melissa McCarthy leave a strongest impression while being thoroughly underused. John Lithgow, Chris O'Dowd, John Segal and Megan Fox are all played for types and given very little else to do. Apatow and Mann’s real life daughters appear again with the Maude screaming her lines, playing on the worse piece of first period humor possible, for the better part of the film with Iris coming off more muted than before. The first hour or so of the film has some steady steam providing a good series of laughs especially for anyone in a long term relationship but the film’s faults start to weigh it down ultimately bringing down the entire production.