Starring: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Segel, Lena Dunham, Rob Smigel, Charlyne Yi
Written By: Judd Apatow
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Studio: Universal Studios
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This Is 40 is the Judd Apatow sequel/spin-off to Knocked Up, and the movie is just as funny as that one. It could have been trimmed in length but this definitely one of the better Judd Apatow (directed, produced) movies.
The movie centers around Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd), who were the friends of Ben and Alison in Knocked Up. They must have had a falling out since those characters aren’t even mentioned! Debbie runs a boutique shop and Pete has a record label and both are turning 40 around the same time. Both love their lives, their children, their jobs but something is slightly off. They begin to have midlife crises in a way, but its just normal family issues. There’s really not a major plotline for This is 40, but it’s just a series of little things that drives the movie.
I’ve seen the majority of Judd Apatow’s things, except maybe Funny People. That movie just didn’t interest me but This Is 40 was really funny. But the movie was long and didn’t really need to be. Maybe could have cut 20 minutes from it? Just don’t cut the scene with Megan Fox getting felt up by Leslie Mann; that can stay. This Is 40 doesn’t really have a big major plotline or story. It’s basically watching two people living their lives with their two daughters. Throughout that life, things pop up like pregnancy, no money, parent issues, kid issues and all that. Those are the main events in This Is 40. But it’s the everyday life things that make life funny sometimes. Just simple things like your wife walking in on you as you’re taking a shit, going to take to the principal because of something you said to another student or playfully discussing how you would kill your spouse. It’s stuff like that makes me really like This Is 40.
There are two things that always make a Judd Apatow movie good. The writing and the cast. This Is 40 has both of that. The cast has the usual suspects and some newcomers like Apatow’s kids Maude and Iris. As for kid actors, I thought they did a good job. This movie wouldn’t have worked if Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd didn’t have chemistry. Having them play off each other is just fun to watch. It’s got to be weird seeing Judd direct Paul Rudd playing his wife’s husband and his kids’ Father. I would have liked to have seen Chris O’Dowd and Jason Segal more. I hope the next directed comedy from Judd Apatow will have either Jason or Chris starring.
The Blu-Ray special features are worth your time just for the gag reel and deleted scenes. The movie was long as it is, yet there was even more stuff cut out of the movie. Some of that is pretty damn funny like one scene with Robert Smigel and his wife telling their kid on what to do after he crapped himself. There’s two sets of gag reels, which I highly recommend watching if you like outtakes. The line-o-rama stuff is hilarious as well! There’s more stuff to watch like a making of, extended scenes, and commentary with Judd.
I don’t have children yet and I’m not 40 yet, but I still got a kick out of the This Is 40. Clever lines and jokes, somewhat likable characters and a strong cast makes this movie a winner for me. If this was made by someone else, I don’t think it would have worked. If you enjoyed Apatow’s previous work, you’ll probably enjoy this too.
Feature Commentary With Writer/Director Judd Apatow
The Making Of This Is 40
Extended & Alternate Scenes
Fresh Air With Terry Gross (WHYY, Inc.)
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
SPANISH: DTS 5.1
FRENCH: DTS 5.1
English, Spanish, French
Bottom Line: A funny movie but a little bit too long
Running Time: 134 mins