Review: THIS IS 40

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

So far, writer/director Judd Apatow has yet to disappoint me with his comedies.  In fact, my least favorite movie of his, Knocked Up, still pleases me for the most part.  The man has a genuine talent for combining biting, crude, but intelligent humor, with much heart and with real flesh and blood lead characters.  When I heard some of the mixed reactions emerging for This is 40, I went in to this screening hoping for the best, but preparing for disappointment.  Thankfully, Apatow delivers an uproarious comedy with a wonderful and hilarious cast and with his signature style of humor and true to life characters and scenarios.

Tagged as a “Sort-of Sequel to Knocked Up”, Apatow’s latest entry focuses on the characters of married couple Pete and Debbie (Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann) and the problems they face as they both turn forty.  Facing financial difficulties, the growing pains of their daughters Sadie and Charlotte (Maude and Iris Apatow), along with marital strife, Pete and especially Debbie are not handling their upcoming birthdays very well.  With emotional baggage of their past and the stresses of their everyday lives, Pete and Debbie struggle to maintain a romantic, happy and peaceful marriage which has some growing pains of its own.

Once again, I applaud Apatow as a writer and director.  With this movie, he shows how much he has matured by dealing with some problems that real married people endure every day.  Parents, in-laws, finances, teenagers, children, love and marriage, Apatow does a tremendous and comprehensive job here and still manages to deliver the comedic goods even if it gets a little absurd at times.  There have been some complaints that this film runs on way too long, but I cannot say I completely agree.  I do think that some moments could have trimmed from the released product, but never once did I find myself bored or frustrated with the length of the movie.  With excellent jokes a-plenty, I was continuously entertained.  As with his previous films, Apatow’s material and direction allows for some outstanding performances from his cast which contains some amazing provisation.

I absolute love Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in these roles.  They truly have some magical moments here and share a wonderful chemistry which makes them even more credible as a married couple.  I also really enjoyed Maude and Iris Apatow as their daughters.

They show that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree as they prove they have comedic talents much like their parents, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann.  The movie also features some hilarious performances by Jason Segel (Jason), Annie Mumolo (Barb), Charlyne Yi (Jodi), Albert Brooks (Pete’s father Larry), and Melissa McCarthy (Catherine).

As I stated above, the film honestly has some unnecessary moments which could have been trimmed, but never once did I feel the length of the movie.  It did not drag at all for me and I honestly believe that fans of Apatow’s previous films will really enjoy his latest work.  With the strong language and sexual content, the film earns its R rating which means don’t bring the children and stay away if this offends.  Otherwise, audience members should be prepared to laugh constantly and enjoy the top notch writing and stellar performances.  I will recommend as a full priced ticket because Apatow does it again.

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