on January 13, 2014
I once asked a friend if a coworker had gone to vacations with his wife to which he laughed and replied
"Barry, no he is the smartest man in the room, he never married. I been married 35 years and I could have killed my wife 5 times already"
At the moment I laughed but this joke resonated while watching this film specially now that I'm a married man myself.
"This is 40" follows Pete and Debbie (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann) relationship as Pete's record label is on the verge of bankruptcy and Debbie's coming to the realization she is turning 40. There is the needy father (Albert Brooks) who still borrowing money from Pete to Debbie's disapproval and there is Debbie's father (John Lithgow) who after a long time is finally reentering her life.
Having children, mortgage payments, dual careers, there is enough in "This is 40" that its relatable to the average family and where many comedies would have taken the light route and either show only one side or just the comedic side of things; "This is 40" just explodes in your face. Everything that you would normally tell somebody when you are mad its said and then some more. People bickering, fighting and rudely screaming at each other.
And that's where this movie triumphs in its uniqueness and sincerity in its approach but that's also where it fails because people expecting a comedy alas "40 years old Virgin" (and that's the majority) end up disappointed. Now that doesn't mean there aren't laughs in here because there are, I laughed out loud with my wife in several occasions and there were even more occasions when we looked at each other and silently agreed "yup that's us"
At the end of the day "this is 40" its not a great comedy or even a great drama but its a great experience, there are many times when you look at your life and think this is a mess how do we manage so its nice to see we are not alone we all go through it and get through it
Debbie: "Why do we fight?"
Pete: "I don't know. It makes no sense at all."
Debbie: "It makes no sense."
Pete: "You get so mad at me. I feel like you want to kill me."
Debbie: "I do want to kill you."
Pete: "How would you do it?"
Debbie: "I don't know. I'd poison you. I'd poison your cupcakes that you pretend not to eat everyday and just put like enough in to just slowly weaken you."
Pete: "I love it"
Debbie: "I'd enjoy our last few months together."
Pete: "Me too"
Debbie: "Cause you'd be so weak and sweet and I could take care of you but while killing you."
Pete: "See, you know what I love about us? You can still surprise me. I figured for sure you'd knock me out with one fell swoop.
on January 6, 2013
In this film Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann)turn 40 and re-examine their lives. Debbie decides everyone must make changes while Pete hides the fact they are broke. It seems Pete invested his future in the resurgence of Graham Parker.
They are clearly a mixed couple as Pete likes classic rock while Debbie prefers Lady Gaga. They also have father issues, one is a stranger (John Lithgow) while the other needs a handout (Albert Brooks). Apatow also brings back his daughters Maude and Iris from "Knocked Up" to be Sadie and Charlotte again. I must say his daughters did a great job as a moody foul mouthed 11 year old and an 8 year old wise beyond her years who says to her sister, "You're no fun since your body got weird."
The humor is never really a side splitter such as when they are talking to each other as their counselor says they should talk to each other:
Paul: "When I apologize, that means you'll let it go and won't throw it back at me in the future?"
Debbie: "I don't do that and I will continue not to do that."
If you loved Apatow's other work, this one is in line with them: crudely humorous and pretentious masquerading as a meaningful statement on modern relationships.
Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Leslie Mann). Megan Fox bra/panties and bikini. Maybe as a rental.
In case you are watching "Lost" for the first time, this film includes the spoiler ending.
on February 18, 2014
When I first saw the previews of This Is 40, I immediately added the film to my "must watch" list. I absolutely loved Knocked Up, and am a big fan of many of Judd Apatow's other films (Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You Man are among my most favorite comedies). As it is for some other fans of Apatow's work, what is most enthralling for me is the real emotion behind the farce, the grain of truth in the jokes that make them relatable and personal. However it's a fine line with this genre of comedy and here Apatow steps too far over it from funny and touching into cringe-worthy territory.
I would describe the experience of watching this movie as stressful or nervewracking. Most of the film is about watching people fight with each other over daily problems. What struck me again and again was how excessively avoidable these problems really were. I wanted to grab these two characters and force them to make a budget. That would solve 50% of the problems that come up in the movie. The other 50%? Perhaps these people really don't belong together. Hard to say, written as they are to conflict. The whole thing is so staged, so forced, it ended up feeling like a bad sitcom that just went on and on. The film also had trouble reaching a resolution. The characters kept moving apart and coming together again and again, making up and fighting and making up and...well you get it. Like I said, stressful. Not a good way to spend several hours of your life.
If you are new to Apatow, I'd say start somewhere else, anywhere else. If you've seen all his other stuff, there are a few laughs to be had here if you have a high tolerance for trainwreck humor. However, I don't.
This is by far the most painfully funny of all of Judd Apatow's films, it's also clearly his most personal. Apatow has done for being 40 what he did with the High school Experience (see: Freaks and Geeks), he's amplified the reality of the experience to show the absurdity of it all. Paul Rudd is excellent at playing a version of Apatow, here a record producer vs a filmmaker, but the themes are the same. Apatow cast his real life wife (Leslie Mann) as the female lead, a brilliant but risky move, that really pays off. His kids are the kids in the film and they both can really act.
This may be a "You have to be 40 or experienced being 40 to enjoy it" kind of film, but it's hard to think of a more painfully funny and naked look at entering middle age.
on June 10, 2016
There seem to be many mixed reviews. I have been wanting to see this for some time since I heard Judd Apatow do a radio show interview about it. I didn't have terribly high expectations because even though I have never seen "Knocked Up", I have no interest in doing so because crude humor isn't my cup of tea. But I had a feeling that this would resonate with me and resonate it did. After watching the preview where they show the seen of the two men discussing wishing their spouses would just die so they could be widowers, in my weak moments I have also wished the same just for a chance to start fresh with no judgement. But like Rudd I do love my spouse fiercely I just have my moments. I think that is where this film excelled in showing so many of those moments that parents in the same stage of life can relate to. Financial strife, parenting teens, cyber bullying, too much screen time, etc. Many reviewers are discrediting the film because of too much bickering. But just like Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann real couples despite therapy and best intentions are often put in situations where arguing happens, and it takes a lot of retraining and work to get over bad habits. And even though I don't generally watch R rated films and I especially don't approve of explicit sex, you wouldn't do this movie justice without the sex issues. It's raw and gives the characters even more credibility. The bathroom visits were spot on.
The only thing I discredit the film for is the Apatow daughters alongside their mother but with a surrogate Dad. The interactions between the girls are authentic but you can feel that the Dad doesn't seem to fit in the family quite as well. For the most part having the girls act with their Mom aided the authenticity of the conflict, occasionally though it seemed like better actresses working as those characters could have done the roles more justice. The Apatow girls aren't the best actresses and the older teen or 11 year old tried to make up for it by swearing. I think a better actress would have been able to play the role better with less swearing. The younger 8 year old messed up on a few of her lines and it wasn't cut and redone it was just left a little sloppy. That to me felt like Mommy and Daddy just gave them a job so it could be a family business when there are others that could've made the film feel more real.
All in all this was a needed film for me today, my 40th birthday, to help me feel like my life isn't as bad as it may seem. My marriage isn't perfect, after 20 years we still are trying to figure it out. I'm not a perfect mother, but no one is, we all just do our best. It was fun to watch another family struggle with so many similar issues in a lighthearted way.
on March 8, 2014
Perhaps people that fall into the age bracket with children and blended families / grandparents similar to what is being depicted find it a little funnier!? We laughed until we cried! It's very funny!
I laughed a LOT during this movie...
*spoiler alert ish*
In this is 40 The cast went so well together you felt as though it was a real family. There was an equal amount of laughs, bad parenting, good parenting, "why is this happenings?" and "Paul Rudd is perfect" moments through out the film. The focus was strictly on Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in this prequel it was not tied into Knock- up. Apatow focused on the 2 characters in knocked who had been there done that and are so unstable they are stable. This film was not suppose to be a slap silly comedy, yet a funny insightful good film that makes though who can relate lighten up and those of us who aren't 40.
I didn't think I was going to love it as much as I did, but I would watch this another 8 or 9 times before I was bored of it, just not back to back of course. Also, this made me want to watch Knocked Up again...
on June 26, 2015
Upon first watching I was unsure if I really liked this movie, or not. Yet when it was shown again and again on cable, I was always drawn to watch it, and usually would while reading a book, or something. It became clear to me that Leslie Mann delivers here a tour-de-force comedic performance, mixing with seriosity. She veritably lights up the film whenever she appears. (...) There is no definite plot here, but it was purposely designed this way: to give a glimpse of a reasonably well off couple who are both approaching 40 in our modern world of computers, Iphones, Ipads, Itunes, and etc. Disarming, heartfelt, crude, but always shockingly funny in an off beat almost ironic manner, this film may come to be realized as a modern masterwork of comedy, by Judd Apetow. I recommend the regular, as opposed to the unrated, version, for, though the story line is developed better in the unrated, more amusing vignettes are present in the regular screening.
on November 8, 2014
You know I too am in my 40's & I can say there is a lot of truth to this film, Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann really show you what it is like to be 40 & some of it is witty & some of it is depressing but Rudd & Mann are a sweet couple to watch, at first I had no interest in seeing this, but caught it on cable one night & thought I would give it a look, man I laughed so hard I went & ordered it the next day, this is what awaits every young married couple, I would not have gotten this one in my 20's, but having been married & having been a parent myself, I actually saw myself in Rudd's shoes at times, the parallels really hit home, unfortunately my marriage didn't have a happy ending, but I really liked how this one ended, Leslie Mann proves you can be hot at any age if you take care of yourself, & man she is hot & funny too, I never knew she was this funny, as her & Rudd deal with parenthood, aging parents, absent parents, angry parents (Melissa McCarthy), a teenage daughter obsessed with the show "Lost", a sexy Megan Fox thrown in for good measure & all the other stresses of married life, unless you have been there done that, you just won't get it!!
on March 26, 2016
Digitally i could get a copy on itunes and VUDU. This studio is doing the right thing that allows me to watch the movie and not have to juggle 600 apps on where i need to watch the movie. If i own the movie i should also receive a digital copy on any provider i want similar to disney movies anywhere for all studios. If I am shelling out 15-25 a movie when everyone else is stealing them digitally I should be rewarded for it.