This is 40,2012,USA
Director: Judd Apatow
Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann & Albert Brooks
Film #108 of the December Project
5 years later, Director Judd Apatow takes us back to lives of Pete and Debbie with 'This is 40', the 'sort-of' sequel to his smash hit 'Knocked Up'. The film is basically a spin off as it does not see the return of Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigil, the lead actors from the original but instead focuses on those of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann whom were supporting characters in the original.
A few year after the events of 'Knocked Up', we revisit the lives of Pete and Debbie as they are encountering middle aged issues and are on the verge of bankruptcy.
I have liked every one of Apatow's directorial projects thus far, but I have to ask the question, can the guy make a film that runs under two hours ?! Its almost like he cant be trusted to tell a coherent story unless it goes over the two hour mark. Its just silly at times and it can make his films feel tedious and bloated. Apatow is good at striking the right balance between raunchy comedy and emotional moments, he has done it very well thus far and with 'This is 40' is able to continue it to moderate success. I say moderate because this film seems to be stooped in the emotional aspect, there are a few funny scenes of course but the film actually takes a depressing turn and decides to focus on aging and family, which is a good thing and shows Apatow's maturity as a filmmaker. Apatow is able to pull of the films themes pretty well but due to the films 134 minute run time, it can feel bloated and a tad bit melodramatic.
With that being said, I enjoyed 'This Is 40' much more than I thought I would. I am 17 so I really could not relate to the predicaments of the characters in the film, but I was still able to buy into the emotional aspect of the film and thought it was quite good. Being an Apatow film, there is of course plenty of comedy throughout and all of which works pretty well. But Apatow seems to focus on it less than he usually does, what we get is good but I didn't really laugh out loud at all. I must say that the funniest moment of the film actually takes place mid credits and features Melissa McCarthy improvising, its absolutely hilarious and I highly recommend sticking around to see it.
Apatow's writing is usually good, I cant comment on its relativity to real life, seeing as I have yet to experience it but I will say that I was usually entertained by what he was putting on the screen. The family aspect is well utilized and all the characters are somewhat believable. But once again I Will state that it all became too tedious, this film really had no business being so long, if Apatow could have trimmed down the film to about 100 minutes it would have came of so much better.
The cast of the film is generally pretty great, Paul Rudd is one of my favorite people and I always love seeing him, he is great here as usual and constantly funny and sympathetic and his chemistry with Leslie Mann's character is perfect. I really like Leslie Mann too and she continues to be entertaining yet heartfelt in this film. The supporting cast is quite good, Albert Brooks and John Lithgow are great as usual and Iris and Maude Apatow do a really good job. Jason Segel returns as his character from the original, but doesn't seem to enjoying himself here and he looks kind of tired. Chris O'Dowd is really funny and gets some of the best lines of the film. I am growing very weary of seeing Megan Fox play the attractive women all the time, I do not think she is the be all end all and she really can not pull of a character, this is yet another example of that.
I liked 'This Is 40' an generally had a pretty good time with it. In all honesty its quite an unnecessary 'sequel' and really doesn't add much to anything, but is good for what it is. It does have some glaring problems, like its damned run time!, but in retrospect I was able to look past that while watching. Apatow's weakest directorial effort thus far but still a good time.