STARRING: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Megan Fox, Robert Smigel, Charlyne Yi, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, John Lithgow, and Lena Dunham.
WRITTEN BY: Judd Apatow
DIRECTED BY: Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow movies have their haters. I think people have gotten tired of his “brand” of films, much like people got bored with Adam Sandler after Big Daddy. Just like no one had a problem with Michael Bay when he directed The Rock and Bad Boys. But when Armageddon came around? Something happened. And now everyone hates Michael Bay, even though his movies are all at least relatively entertaining. I actually liked This Is 40 more than Knocked Up or Funny People. The backlash continued with Lena Dunham and the presumed “nepotism” in her cast. Yes, Apatow has cast his real-life family in this film. Does that make the film any less entertaining? No. The Apatow girls fit perfectly into their roles.
The film is based around the idea that Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are both turning 40. Debbie refuses to acknowledge this, and says she’s turning 38. She starts coming up with crazy ideas to better their lives for the coming years. Pete is a record label exec, who is having money problems, and struggling with his marriage to Debbie. The whole movie is basically about two people going through some stuff, and being stronger on the other side.
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are both really strong in their roles, especially Mann who has been underrated for years. Albert Brooks is quite good as Pete’s father. Megan Fox was expertly cast as a girl who really only needs to be hot. Where Knocked Up and Funny People seemed to drag on, This Is 40 is full of smaller moments where the audience can relate to having been in similar situations. I do wish we had gotten to see Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl at some point during the film, just to touch base with their characters, since this is still in the same universe, and they were really good friends at one point. However, This Is 40 is funny, relevant, and well-written, and probably the most underrated movie of 2012.
FINAL GRADE: A-