Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5
This is 40 is the latest directorial effort by Judd Apatow. It is the story of married couple Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) as they deal with the current state of their lives as they turn 40. As in previous Apatow films, such as Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, Apatow tried to meld a raunchy comedy with a touching story that has heart. While this movie had many funny moments and some emotional heart, it was not as consistently funny or as moving as either of the previous movies and does not live up to those previous efforts.
Apatow pulls together a great cast including Melissa McCarthy (who was great in Bridesmaids too), Albert Brooks (another excellent performance coming off of last year’s performance in Drive), Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow, and others. This was a family effort for Apatow as Mann is his wife and his two kids also starred and gave good performances in the movie.
While this is an ok movie, it did not live up to my expectations and is not one of Apatow’s best.
Bill I’s Review – 3 out of 5
I agree it’s not consistently funny, but Apatow is not going for that. He’s got a serious mid-life couple’s drama at the center, and with some funny parts sprinkled throughout, you never forget the real-lifeness going on, from the bitter arguments, to the kids’ reactions, to their co-workers’ indifference, to their selfishness, as well as their lovingness. It’s real life, some of it embarassing, some of it not cool, and some of it to be admired in that they get through it and carry on. The fathers (Lithgow and Brooks) lend context and history to the characters. Leslie Mann has her best role here, as the glue that holds the family together, and enough attractiveness (personality and otherwise) to lend credibility to why Paul Rudd’s character loves her. The film is too long, and could have been edited down to eliminate some of the slow parts, but I don’t know what scenes I would want chopped. It’s hit and miss on some of the comic scenes (Mann berating a 12-year old boy is uncomfortable and not funny). Stay tuned for an outtake early in the credits where Melissa McCarthy riffs on her scene in the principal’s office, funniest of all. If you’re an Apatow fan, you need to see this. If you are married, you should see this, both to learn what to avoid and how you can persist through the tough parts. If you hope to be married in the future, you might want to wait till you’ve been hitched for a few years. Finally, if you ever thought Megan Fox had potential, you will see it realized here in a small but memorable part.