March 30, 2013

This is 40

Judd Apatow, 2012


A.K.A. This is 40 Minutes Too Long

          This sort-of sequel to Knocked Up focuses on the life of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann). It is a fly-on-the-wall observation of a married couple reaching their mid-point in their lives. Watching the exhaustive process of raising two girls (with one in her pubescent phase), managing careers, and keeping the passion alive is enough to intimidate any young couple in their early years of marriage.
         While I LOVED Knocked Up, this film had some really endearing features but I believe it fell victim to Apatow's typical treatment of letting a film run too long. If this film ran 90 minutes instead of 134, I feel it would have succeeded. Some of the jokes and pop-culture references feel too forced, as if Seth MacFarlane were one of the punch-up writers. 40 also has that Big-Hollywood liberal plastic family feel to it. I would think that married couples in their mid-40's living in Oklahoma will have a tough time relating to the trials and tribulations of a family living in the perfect house and driving the $70,000 BMW and Land-Rover. I found myself laughing late into the film, but really only holding on to the scattered comedic moments and while having trouble adapting to the dramatic elements. Unfortunately because of all of the quick-cuts and choppy-edits, you never really get a chance to maintain footing. That's disappointing, because along the way there is some really great acting by Leslie Mann, Albert Brooks and John Lithgow.
          Apatow clearly has a lot to say, and this may be his most personal film. While I do think there is plenty of fat that could have been trimmed, I appreciate this film in the sense that Judd gave you some access to his own life, more than in his earlier films. He's the guy with the cupcake problem, the guy who sits on the toilet phantom-pooping with his iPad, and the guy who is trying to keep the love alive. Maybe we just didn't need it all at once.


  1. so glad to have your blog pop up on my Facebook newsfeed! being in a small german town most of the year our movie options are limited (netflix/hulu etc don't work abroad). this'll be a nice guide for what to watch and what to skip when we get back to the states and have netflix again. thanks!

  2. No problem! Hopefully we'll see eye to eye on one of these that I favor. I've been known to enjoy a disturbing film here and there, so consider yourself warned :)