Judd Apatow’s 2007 hit Knocked Up introduced us to Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann). They were not the main characters of the film, but were certainly the most real. Their relationship issues and mid-life dramas painted a picture most of us could relate to, so it’s no surprise they’ve been given their own spin-off movie.
‘This is 40’ shows the married couple five years older and no happier than they were before. Debbie owns a failing clothes shop and Pete owns an even less successful record label. Their daughters (Maude and Iris Apatow) are always fighting, and so are they. To make things worse, the pair are both approaching their 40’s.
Fans of ‘Knocked Up’ will be pleased to hear Jason Segel returns as Debbie’s personal trainer, whilst the underrated Charlane Yi once again plays Jodi. And new characters played by Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Albert Brooks, and John Lithgow complete the impressive line-up.
Unfortunately fans of the original movie may be disappointed to hear ‘This is 40’ isn’t the laugh-out-loud comedy its predecessor is. Apatow has turned his attention away from fart jokes and stoned slackers – instead given us something much more thought provoking. It’s a bold and admirable move from the director, but one that may leave admirers of his films such as ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ feeling a little disappointed.
Some of the best and worst scenes from the movie come from the improvisation. Certain actors are naturally funny and being given the free hand to improvise works great for them, but fall flat with others.
Overall ‘This is 40’ was not the film I had expected, or the comedy the trailer would lead you to believe it is. It is still a VERY enjoyable watch, that I recommend seeing. Head to the Showcase prepared for a drama with funny moments, not a comedy with serious moments, and you’ll get much more out of the 133 minutes.
‘This is 40’ is far better than ‘Funny People’ but it’s no ‘Knocked Up’.
Release date: February 14
Runtime: 133 mins
Director: Judd Apatow
Cast: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Albert Brooks, and John Lithgow.
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