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This Is 40 reviewed by Mitch
An original comedy that expands upon the story of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from the blockbuster hit Knocked Up as we see first-hand how they are dealing with their current state of life, as they hit the big 4-0.
This Is 40…minutes too long.
If you’ve seen a Judd Apatow film (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up & Funny People) you’d know that his editor has it pretty easy when they work together. This Is 40 is actually ten minutes shorter than his last movie Funny People, but my god it drags on. Most movies that linger tend to pick up after a slow start, This Is 40 works the other way: the first hour is actually pretty funny – despite feeling a bit like a bunch of skits taped together – before eventually reaching the inevitable point in this kind of movie where you realize what the movie’s actually going to be about.
I’ve read a tip for budding screenwriters: write what you know. Now, Judd Apatow is no wannabe screenwriter – or filmmaker for that matter – but that is exactly what he’s done here. While serving as a “sort-of sequel” to Knocked Up, This Is 40 may as well be called Keeping Up With The Apatows. Listen to any of the promotional interviews about the movie and you’ll know if you watch This Is 40, you’ve peaked into a window of the Apatow family – minus all the Hollywood-esque stuff that no doubt goes on.
Even the TV interests of the family are included: older daughter Sadie (Maude Apatow) is obsessed with Lost and hates that no one in her family understands why.
-actually, let me point out that if you’re a Lost fan, but haven’t seen the end, go into This Is 40 with caution or not at all. Trust me – I had to close my eyes and ears and hum to myself in the middle of the cinema just so I didn’t spoil the series for myself…and I have a sinking feeling it didn’t work-
Look, it all makes for some quirky – and sometimes dirty – family fun. But, with romantic-comedies a formula must be adhered to: where at some point in the movie one of the leads will do something that upsets someone close to them and they have to change their ways to repair the relationship blah blah blah. The problem is not that this doesn’t happen in This Is 40: the problem is that it happens a couple of times – there’s no apparent structure. I support this in movies – and I agree with Paul Rudd or Judd Apatow’s promotional interviews that state “life doesn’t run to a script” or “life is no three piece act” – but that doesn’t necessarily work in a movie! This Is 40 just feels all over the place. It’s all wrapped up very quickly at the end and with little belief that the same shit isn’t gonna hit the same fan once the credits role.
Disappointing...wow, I'm starting to sound like a critic. Gross.
…BTW – there was no intent on the image above ;)
Words: Mitch Lewis
Follow Mitch on Twitter @Mitch_Lewis