Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This Is 40

This Is 40 by Judd Apatow
How would you kill your wife?
It rarely ever happens, but on Friday I had the house to myself for the first time in forever. I of course went for a quick sushi run and watched This Is 40 (2012) by Achorman producer Judd Apatow. The 'sort-of sequel to Knocked Up' had been on my bucket list ever since I came across Megan Fox's boobs the delighfully absurd trailer, and Adam Carolla's casual mentions of the movie on his podcast made sure that it stayed on my radar. My time had finally come.

Debbie (the awesome Leslie Mann) and Pete (the ever-so-underrated Paul Rudd) are two somewhat contently married 39-somethings. Angered that she is turning 40, disappointed that the passion has left her marriage, and generally fed up with the absent and careless ways of her husband, Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family. Not at all an easy objective when you factor in that the couple also has to deal with Debbie's remarried father Oliver (John Lithgow), Pete's moocher father Larry (Albert Brooks), their 13 and 18-year-old daughters, and money issues.

I really enjoyed This Is 40, and I would have rated it higher if it wasn't for its at-times aimlessness and 133-minute duration. Because honestly, what's not to like? The movie provides some great laughs, some bittersweet stingers, and some great cameos by Lithgow, Brooks, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, Lena Dunham and Chris O'Dowd, among others. Could Apatow have injected more of a narrative? Sure. But I'm quite convinced that his real goal was to hold up a mirror to married couples and produce a slice of real life for movie watchers. At that, Apatow succeeded brilliantly.

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