This Is 40 (2012) Directed by Judd Apatow. Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and Maude Apatow. IMDB says: “A look at the lives of Pete and Debbie a few years after the events of Knocked Up.”
I’ve never been big on romantic comedies. However, I am big on comedy and I’m no stranger to a good drama. Enter This is 40. This film stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as a middle aged couple on the rocks. The film is hailed as a sequel of sorts to the hit film Knocked Up and in some ways it is. In my mind, however, this film goes well beyond that original. Let’s start with the comedic aspect. This is a funny film. There are moments that will have you in hysterics but the movie as a whole flows in such a way that you laugh at even the seemingly mundane scenes. The thing that I believe truly sets this film apart is the ability to juxtaposition the hilarious with the heartwarming.
There were innumerable times this film had me laughing hysterically but the film seemed to go deeper than that. Many people in the theater were brought to tears at several times during the screening. What was truly mesmerizing was the ability of this film to make those people laugh through the tears. The characters are relatable for almost anyone, even a young single man like me. The dialogue seems to flow naturally and the character portrayals are simply spot on. The cinematics are well done and the scenes are shot smoothly. To be completely honest, I do not have many complains of this film but I have heard several and I think they deserve to be addressed.
I heard some folks say that this film does not have a plot. Personally, I do not take offense to that. Here’s the thing: this film doesn’t need a plot. Think of it as a long sitcom, it just gives us a look into a few weeks in the lives of a middle-aged couple working through some things. It picks up at a major milestone in Leslie Mann’s life and it follows through until the natural resolution of that milestone. The story line doesn’t necessarily need a clear cut beginning, middle, and end as long as it develops properly and the exposition makes sense. The film allows you to share a short time in the life of an average couple.
The other big complaint I’ve heard is about the trailers/previews. This one is mildly annoying. I always hear people complain that the trailers give away too much of the film. Now, about This is 40 they’re complaining that the scenes in the trailers were cut from the film. To me, that strategy makes sense. This way, they show some scenes that sort of embody the film or give you an idea of what to expect without detracting from the film or making you feel like you’ve already seen a scene.
All in all, it’s a great film, one of the best of the year in my opinion. It’s hilarious, it’s touching, and it really draws you into the lives of these characters. It’s deserving of a watch. So watch it!
FTS SCORE: 75%
This Is 40 opens in theaters Friday, December 21st.