Going into any Judd Apatow film, you can pretty much count
on three things: lots (and I mean lots) of cursing, laughs (or at least you
hope you're going to laugh), and some heart. This is 40 is the
sorta kinda sequel to Apatow's 2007 hit Knocked
Up, though it should be noted that the only real connection between the two
films is Jason Segel's "Jason".
This is 40 picks up a mere years after
the events of Knocked Up with Pete
and Debbie both celebrating their 40th birthday (though Debbie insists that she
is a beautiful 38). They both have
start up businesses; their two daughters are a little older with the eldest
hitting puberty, and both have plenty of family pressures.
This is not your average Judd
Apatow film, and for the director's fans, this movie will prove to be a lot
deeper than what you are used to. Apatow's
usage of foul language is a mask for what's really at the heart of the film,
growing up and getting older and the pains that go with both. It felt that this was more
reminiscent of his work on Freaks and
Geeks as opposed to his recent feature films "“ a feat he attempted with
2009's Funny People, the difference
here is that he actually pulled it off.
writing isn't particularly sharp, but it is witty, funny, and honest. There is a brutal authenticity in this
film that makes you take a step back and dissect the situation. Yes, the language does get a bit
excessive, (especially in regard to their oldest daughter) but then you think
back to when you were going through the oh-so-awkward phase known as puberty
(or hell) everything seems to fit.
The real strength when it comes to the writing is the improv, which they
do embrace through a small clip shown during the credits of Melissa McCartney,
so stick around after.
you have watched Knocked Up (or any
Judd Apatow movie for that matter),
you know what you are getting with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. Since they are such great friends in
real life, that chemistry is undeniable here as a struggling married couple
working their way through some adult growing pains. They are hilarious, but just like the writing; you get to
see another layer of these two when they have honest discussions with both
themselves and their children.
In the end the success of the film is
really a group effort as everyone contributes to brining this movie together,
and yes, Megan Fox is actually funny in her role. Jason Segel's presence as Jason is short, smart, and straight
up hilarious. He isn't given much
time to work his charm, but he makes every moment count. Chris O'Dowd's role as Pete's assistant
brings a good bit of comic relief in parts that would have otherwise been dragged
down with a heavy-handed bit of drama.
And the scene-stealer is easily Melissa McCartney, and when you see the
movie you'll understand why.
the end, This is 40 is a really good
movie. It's funny and dramatic, often times uncertain with itself as to exactly
what kind of film it wants to be. In
that regard it does a brilliant job at reflecting the confusion that is life, love,
family, and growing up.