Review - This Is 40

This Is 40 (2012), R, 134 minutes - Judd Apatow's latest comedy is a 'sort of' sequel to 2007's Knocked Up according to the movie poster.  'Sort of' in that This Is 40 follows Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) who were supporting characters in in that film, but This Is 40 doesn't tie back to Knocked Up at all.

This Is 40 takes a look at the life of a family whose parents have just turned 40 and are both feeling a bit of a mid-life crisis.  They are both having financial problems at work (Pete owns an independent record label and Debbie owns a small fashion boutique).  Pete has kept his end of the financial troubles a secret and the family is in danger of having to sell their house and downsize to make ends meet.  These troubles are just the tip of the iceberg.  As a result of turning 40 and not feeling as fulfilled or as accomplished as they had envisioned Pete and Debbie get increasingly frustrated with each other.  When they aren't driving each other nuts, they are coming up with ideas to try and change the monotony in their lives.  One such idea is to limit wi-fi usage to a couple hours at night which has a much greater effect on their daughters Sadie and Charlotte (Maude and Iris Apatow respectively) than on themselves.  Especially considering they break their own rules one scene later as they check on Sadie's internet activity.  Throw in troubles with their fathers for both Pete and Debbie and you get the sense that nothing can go right for this family.  It is all handled in comedic fashion in the Apatow style that we have come to expect.

Albert Brooks (Pete's father Larry), John Lithgow (Debbie's father Oliver), and Melissa McCarthy (Catherine) all have their moments in supporting roles.  McCarthy is especially funny.  It's a shame that her character doesn't get more screen time.  A few other familiar faces making supporting appearances include Jason Segel, Megan Fox, Chris O'Dowd, and Michael Ian Black.

This comedy clocks in at a little over two hours and there are a few scenes that really bog down the momentum and turn quite serious.  As a result they feel a little awkward and out of place (as I am sure that they are meant to).  Despite that, there is plenty to be entertained by in This Is 40.  If you like Apatow's previous works or can overlook the fact that this is all happening to an upper-middle class family that doesn't seem to want to help their own cause (they talk about all kinds of changes, but don't make any that actually help) then This Is 40 is a fun film.  I wouldn't place it at the top of the Apatow heap of great comedies, but it'll definitely get a few laughs.


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