This Is 40 (2012) Directed by Judd Apatow. With Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maud Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel and Megan Fox.
Billed as a ‘sort of sequel to Knocked Up’, writer/director Judd Apatow takes an intriguing left turn in his career to shift focus on the characters played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in his 2007 hit pregnancy comedy. The thrust of the idea is to do comedy/drama around what happens to a conventionally attractive married couple, as they approach the big 4-0.
Paul and Debbie have lives that many of us only ever see in the movies. Beautiful home, exciting business lives with A-list contacts, but somehow, they’ve lived beyond their dreams. Their two demanding kids hate each other, while their intimate times are increasingly fewer and farther between. When they do get privacy, the everyday demands of being a parent often puncture the mystery of any romance.
Sadly, This is 40 is little more than chewing gum for the eyes and ears. It’s one of those perky Hollywood comedies that never gets into its stride, relying on bright cameos and the occasional gag, above anything else. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann do their best in their central roles, and fleetingly, they are borderline likeable, but all too often, they (and their children) are equally frustrating to be around.
So, although I like the idea of focusing on peripheral characters from another film, there isn’t enough going on here to make a serious recommendation. It’s well shot and acted and might play well as a rainy afternoon, falling in-and-out of sleep on the couch film, but little more. If this is your life, well, there’s not that much to complain about. 2.5/5