The older you get, the more obvious it becomes that each new decade of your life represents a milestone. However, our expectations for each of those periods may not match the reality. In This is 40
, the other couple in 2007's Knocked Up
take centre stage, dealing with the problems that come with a longer marriage and more responsibilities.
Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) share a birthday month, but Debbie doesn't want to celebrate this year - she's turning 40. Even though they're married and reside in the same house, they live relatively separate existences. Pete owns a record label, so he goes to a lot of concerts and bike rides in his spare time. Debbie owns a jewelry and clothing store, and works out with a trainer (Jason Segel) to try to reverse the aging process. In short, they each spend a lot of time escaping from each other. But with various family and financial issues coming to a head, they're forced to deal with their relationship and the state of their marriage.
Writer/director Judd Apatow’s work has always focused on people dealing with regular life issues. This time, the featured couple is sliding headlong into a mid-life crisis. It starts with just the general family life problems of coordinating time, money and kids. As both parents are running their own businesses, demands outside of the house can be time consuming. In addition, stealing employees, mooching relatives and bad planning result in severe financial deficits. They now irritate each other so regularly, they’ve fantasized about how the other might die. Their eldest, Sadie (Maude Apatow), is bullied on Facebook by a classmate, but the consequences are unexpected and hilarious. And their younger daughter, Charlotte (Iris Apatow), just wants everyone to like each other.
There is a lot going on in the picture, which contributes to its length. Though the laughs help the time go by quickly. Rudd and Mann have great chemistry, whether they’re fighting or making up. Even the serious moments are made funny by amusing dialogue sprinkled throughout grave conversations. This film is undoubtedly character driven and made successful by incredibly well casted adult actors. Even Megan Fox pulls her weight as the distracting and obvious eye candy.
The movie is sweet, funny and smart, on par with Apatow’s other productions and resulting in a humorous, heartwarming holiday theatre pick.
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Paul Rudd
, Leslie Mann
and Jason Segel