Summary: Five years after writer/director Judd Apatow introduced us to Pete and Debbie in Knocked Up, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles as a husband and wife both approaching a milestone meltdown in THIS IS 40, an unfiltered, comedic look inside the life of an American family.
After years of marriage, Pete lives in a house of all females: wife Debbie and their two daughters, eight-year-old Charlotte (Iris Apatow) and 13-year-old Sadie (Maude Apatow). As he struggles to keep his record label afloat, he and Debbie must figure out how to forgive, forget and enjoy the rest of their lives… before they kill each other.
In his fourth directorial outing, Apatow’s new comedy captures what it takes for one family to flourish in the middle of a lifetime together. What emerges is a deeply honest portrait of the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age. Through the filmmaker’s unblinking lens, we follow one couple’s three-week navigation of sex and romance, career triumphs and financial hardships, aging parents and maturing children.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th January, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Judd Apatow
Screenwriter: Judd Apatow
Cast: Ryan Adams (himself), Iris Apatow (Charlotte), Maude Apatow (Sadie), Billie Joe Armstrong (himself), Tim Bagley (Dr. Pellagrino), Joanne Baron (Vice Principal Laviatri), Albert Brooks (Larry), R. Matt Carle (himself), Lisa Darr (Claire), Lena Dunham (Cat), Megan Fox (Desi), Scott Wesley Hartnell (himself), Elly Kaye (Marissa), Ryan Lee (Joseph), John Lithgow (Oliver), Leslie Mann (Debbie), Melissa McCarthy (Catherine), Annie Mumolo (Barb), Chris O’Dowd (Ronnie), Ian Laperriere (himself), Graham Parker (himself), Blake Garrett Rosenthal (Thomas), Paul Rudd (Pete), The Rumour Band (themselves), Ava Sambora (Wendy), Jason Segel (Jason), Molly Shad (Grandma Molly), Robert Smigel (Barry), James F. Van Riemsdyk), Charlyne Yi (Jodi)
Runtime: 134 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘This Is 40’ Review:
There is no doubting that Judd Apatow is one of the best comedy writers in modern cinema. The fact that he is the man responsible for films like ‘Knocked Up’ and ’40 Year Old Virgin’ proves that. But then of course he is also the man responsible for ‘You Don’t Mess With The Zohan’.
It is because of that latter fact that whenever you hear that a new Judd Apatow movie is hitting the cinemas that you can’t help but have a little bit of nervousness in the pit of your stomach when you sit down to watch it. But Apatow fans you can breathe a sigh of relief because his new film ‘This Is 40’ certainly sits in the good column.
In a way ‘This Is 40’ is a ‘kinda’ sequel to ‘Knocked Up’ because it centres around Debbie (Leslie Mann – Para-Norman, The Change-Up) and Pete (Paul Rudd – Prince Avalanche, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), two characters we first met back in Apatow’s comedy classic. They are your typical married couple, they have two children Sadie (Maude Apatow – Funny People, Knocked Up) and Charlotte (Iris Apatow – Funny People, Knocked Up), Pete runs his own record label and Debbie runs a clothing shop aided by her employees, Jodi (Charlyne Yi – TV’S House, TV’S Love Bites) and Desi (Megan Fox – Friends With Kids, Passion Play)… one of which is stealing from her.
With both Debbie and Pete now hitting their forties Pete seems to be coping fine, but Debbie is stressing out and begins to wonder about their marriage. Making things even worse is the fact that Pete has a massive secret, because his business is failing, no matter how much co-worker Ronnie (Chris O’Dowd – The Sapphires, Friends With Kids) tries to stop it happening, and because Pete keeps giving money to his father Larry (Albert Brooks – Drive, TV’S The Simpsons) they are facing the fact they may have to sell their house.
When ‘This Is 40’ reaches its peak it has you almost falling out of your seat with laughter… Apatow really does know how to deliver the laughs, and the fact that the film centres around an ordinary family will mean that most people watching will be able to relate to it.
But that’s not to say that the film doesn’t have some weaknesses. At just on two and a half hours it does feel a little wrong and that could have easily been fixed by taking out the stories revolving around the thefts at the shop and also Debbie’s father, Oliver (John Lithgow – The Campaign, New Years Eve). With these stories omitted ‘This Is 40’ would have been a lot shorter and may have even been able to break into the ‘great comedy’ category.
When it comes to the acting everybody seems to be at the top of their game. Paul Rudd backs up from his performance in ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ with another great performance and he is well supported by Leslie Mann. However it is the subsidiary actors like Chris O’Dowd and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, TV’S Mike & Molly) that seem to steal the show… especially McCarthy whose scene in the headmasters office is one of the funniest scenes ever show in cinema (also remember to stick around when the film ends because her rant continues during the credits).
‘This Is 40’ may run a little long but you won’t mind because you’ll be laughing all the way through it.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘This Is 40′: Check Episode #16 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘This Is 40’. Dave’s other review of ‘This Is 40’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel