REVIEW: THIS IS 40

 CAST

Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Leslie Mann (17 Again)
Megan Fox (Transformers)
Albert brooks (The Simpsons)
Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
Annie Mumolo (Bad Moms)
Robet Smigel (Pixels)
Charlyne Yi (Cloverfield)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Tom Everett (Dances With Wolves)
Damon Gupton (Bates Motel)
Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken)

Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, and Paul Rudd in This Is 40 (2012)This Is 40 is about, and in short, it’s exactly as advertised – Life at 40 with a family and other various responsibilities. Picking up some years after Knocked Up, Debbie and Pete (Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd respectively) are seemingly stuck in financial quicksand. Pete’s record label is tanking as a result of his unwillingness to change with the market, and a string of internal theft leaves Debbie’s clothing store to hemorrhage money they don’t really have. Their financial burden is exacerbated by a mooch of an in-law, and a long lost parent pops into the mix to perplex their lives that much more… and all this doesn’t even take their normal everyday stress into consideration. Their 13 year old daughter, Sadie, (Maude Apatow) is at that odd stage of life where ‘priorities’ are defined as keeping up with the latest and artificial trends in our pop-culture driven society. Oh, and dramatically acting out because she feels like her family is ruining her life, of course. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Charlotte (Iris Apatow), their sweet little 8 year old that’s struggling with a sister that’s too ‘mature’ and ‘cool’ to give her the time of day, not to mention her argumentative parents.Leslie Mann and Megan Fox in This Is 40 (2012)Conceptually speaking, it all sounds dry and unoriginal, but Apatow injecting this premise with a series of relatable issues keeps things interesting. Not only that, but all of the craziness in their lives never feels tacked on just for the sake of it, and that’s a hard thing for any director to accomplish with such subject matter. In Apatow’s latest however film, he’s able to make all of these moving parts play out like a symphony – Things begin with plenty of laughs, but as the relevant back story begins to fill us in on the issues that initiate the potential for their marriage to fall apart, Apatow finds a rhythm that effortlessly pulls us through all the highs and lows without making them feel like a burden. Paul Rudd and Chris O'Dowd in This Is 40 (2012)Of course it’s all somewhat sensationalized for the sake of entertainment, but this is the director’s most hilarious, yet awkwardly personal film to date. Rudd and Mann may have been the characters who practically stole the show in Knocked Up, but they work just as well as the focus in a full length feature film. Their comedic timing is nothing short of flawless, but Apatow deserves another pat on the back here as well – The characters were made by design to bicker in ways that are so brutally honest with reality, that some people may not want to acknowledge that what they’re seeing on screen actually hits close to home.The film’s in-laws, Albert Brooks and John Lithgow, who are entirely believable as the building blocks for much of Pete and Debbie’s ongoing strife. It was also nice to see Jason Segal back as, well, ‘Jason’, and Megan Fox was great as the sleazy, yet loveable floozy. She had a lot of fun playing the role, and it showed. Also another great turn from Melissa McCarthy too.