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Review: This Is 40

Updated: Friday, December 21 2012, 05:10 PM CST

Grade: B

By Ken The Critic @kenthecritic

Judd Apatow takes my favorite characters from his hit, Knocked Up, and makes a somewhat sequel.  Katherine Heigl’s character had a sister named Debbie (played by Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann), and that film touched a bit on her family.  Well, This Is 40 follows Debbie and her family about five years later and shows you where they are in their lives and careers.  Don’t expect a drop in from Ben and Alison (Seth Rogen and Heigl) or even an update.  You will have to decide for yourself if they ended up together or not.  Even though there’s a big 40th birthday party, I guess Alison’s invite was lost in the mail.      

In This Is 40, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are both about to hit 40 years old.  Debbie still won’t face being middle age by claiming that she is 38.  She still wants to throw a 40th birthday for Pete, but doesn’t want to have a party together as they have in the past.  Everything is leading up to this birthday party.  The realization of turning 40 and stress that life is causing them is turning them into jaded individuals.

Pete and Debbie both have their own businesses.  Pete has a record label company that is doing so poorly that it’s caused him to get behind on two mortgage payments.  He is too focused on releasing albums of indie rockers that he grew up on, namely Graham Parker at the moment.  Meanwhile, Debbie is trying to figure out who of her two employees is embezzling from her boutique.  Their children, Sadie and Charlotte (played by Apatow and Leslie Mann’s kids) are constantly bickering at each other.  Throw in Pete and Debbie’s fathers (Albert Brooks and John Lithgow) and you get jokes coming to you in all directions.

I’ve never been married but I appreciate this film so much.  It’s what every married couple experiences even if they don’t have kids.  It’s what life throws at everybody and how we deal with it and the strain it creates between each other.  Leslie Mann is extraordinary playing the angry wife who never raises her voice, unless she just necessarily has to.  Paul Rudd is effortless as the funny guy as usual.  Mann and Rudd’s chemistry is top notch that is reminiscent of Modern Family’s Phil and Claire Dunphy. Even though I believe 20 minutes could have been shaved off of the film since it’s 134 minutes, there are definitely non-stop laughs.  This Is 40 will be another hit under Apatow’s belt.         

Ken's Movie Review Grading Scale

A – Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now

B – Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it’s out of the        theaters; the story may drag in places

C – Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it

D – Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.

F – Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoever  Review: This Is 40


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