In partnership with

This Is 40

2013-05-06 09:12
What's it about?

This Is 40 is a sort-of-semi-sequel to Judd Apatow's critical and commercial hit, Knocked Up. It's not about the two main characters from that 2007 hit comedy, played by Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, but rather about that film's husband and wife couple played by Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd.

What we thought:

Pete and Debbie (Rudd and Mann) are living what should be the American Dream, with jobs, a lovely home and two cute kids. Unfortunately, Pete's business is going through some tough times, Debbie is having trouble dealing with the onset of middle age and their kids seem to be forever battling one another.

This Is 40
uses their crises as a way of looking at the challenges of mid-life and the fear of getting older. 

Let's get one thing straight: this might be a follow up to Knocked Up in terms of its characters but this film errs more on the side of drama than the former.

That's not to say that it isn't funny; This Is 40 has more than its fair share of yuks and you'll chuckle plenty. But in dealing with the fears of the onset of middle age, it has about it a somewhat heavier air than the comparative lightness provided by the onset of parenthood. 

The two leads put in good performances with Mann showing dramatic as well as comedic chops. Rudd, one of Hollywood's underrated gems is almost always good fun, and here, his trademark dry delivery is put to good effect.

John Lithgow and Albert Brooks show up in supporting roles and acquit themselves well without being given anything especially straining.  

I can't say that I like Apatow's penchant for using pop-rock tracks to underline the emotional beats as it detracts more than adds. Also, at over two hours, This Is 40 does feel a bit like it's outstaying its welcome and some tightening in the story department wouldn't have gone amiss.

Here's the thing about this film: The sentimental amongst you will no doubt enjoy themselves, come out with a smile and perhaps even tear up at the soppy bits. Those of you more jaded will probably struggle with all the sentiment that strives for a Cameron Crowe kind of pathos but often feels clumsy and contrived.

It's not a bad film at all but your enjoyment of it will depend on which camp you fall into.  

*On an aside and as some fair warning to those of you who have not yet watched Lost, this film gives away that show's ending so you might want to bear that in mind.

A sort-of-semi-sequel to Judd Apatow's critical and commercial hit, Knocked Up, that takes a more dramatic approach to Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd ageing crisis.
Read more on:    seth rogen  |  katherine heigl  |  paul rudd  |  movies

Christopher Brunsdon 2013/05/06 8:47 PM
  • Rating:
Don't think my wife and I ever enjoyed a movie together as much as this one. This movie is so true about life at 40 and it scared us as 40 is just around the corner for us. But we enjoyed it to the max and laughed through most of the movie. I guess you need to be either unmarried and in your twenties not to enjoy this movie. And if you are married, then make sure you see this with your better half.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.