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This Is 40
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This Is 40 More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An annoying non-comedy

Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
22 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pete and Debbie are both turning 40, though Debbie is in denial about it. They both run businesses which are going through severe financial difficulties, and Pete keeps lending money which he can't afford to his father. Their older daughter is hormonal. Debbie is discontented for reasons which don't appear entirely clear. For two and a quarter hours.

Judd Apatow writes and directs his wife and children in, what one can only assume, is a fictionalised film about his wife and children, with Paul Rudd standing in for him. Billed as a comedy, which it isn't, this is a soapy drama with some occasional humour.

I can't say I didn't enjoy it because, in an odd way, I did. But I can say that it left me feeling dissatisfied, like a meal which had some interesting tastes, but which I didn't actually like that much. The problem, I think, lies in the central characters, where any appeal lies with the actors playing them: as written, they are fairly unsympathetic. The central problem in their lives is the financial one and, by the end of the film, that remains completely unresolved (apart from the fact that they are, at least, talking about it). Otherwise it seemed to me that absolutely nothing had changed between them - yes, they love each other, but they were still going down the tubes financially and she was still going to be yelling at him every 15 minutes and he was still going to be hiding in their lock-free toilet, and perhaps that is at the centre of my unease - if only they would get to grips with the only real problem they have (which they resolutely don't) these people wouldn't actually have anything to complain about.

That's not all which displeased me. As is usual with Apatow's films, there is a monumental amount of bad language (we are, at least, spared it from the younger daughter). And, after a nasty row, the thing which brings them back together is lying about the unpleasant way they have treated another person. Lovely. Plus, 134 minutes is somewhat excessive for a film about pointless arguments.

What positive things can I say? The two girls - Apatow's and Leslie Mann's real-life daughters - show promise. Megan Fox swans around in underwear and a bikini and a face which has gone very odd, courtesy (one assumes) of unnecessary plastic surgery. John Lithgow's part is interesting and surprisingly sympathetic. And there is a terrific outtake during the end credits featuring Melissa McCarthy.

The much-hyped connection with Knocked Up is utterly irrelevant.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This Is 40 — About long relationship couple and their children

Author: Avid Climber from Montreal, Canada
17 January 2013

This Is 40 feels like the writer/director Judd Apatow made an analysis of what it meant to be a long standing couple with children, took a bunch of anecdotes about it, meshed them in a cohesive script, and made a movie out of it.

This piece rings of truth, like a mirror reflecting everything, the bad as well as the good. One doesn't seem more prevalent than the other, even though it ends positively. He takes the time to set each scene, see them through, and bring them to their logical conclusion. He has put everything on the table, the highs, the lows, the frustrations, the bad communications... I think every couple with children will see parts of themselves in it.

It's not he kind of movie you see to escape reality. It won't pull you down either, and it is funny, but it's very realistic.

Even though this is supposed to be be a sort of followup on the secondary couple of Knocked Up it has nothing of the goofball stuff of the first movie, except with one very little scene with an employee.

The acting is excellent, I love Paul Rudd, and this might be his best performance. Leslie Mann is excellent too. The only low performance was from Iris Apatow who plays the youngest daughter.

The script is excellent, everything is logical, no flaws, and well orchestrated.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not for the new generation dummies, nor the weak hearted psychologically ill

Author: fu-tile from Egypt
11 January 2013

This movies was simply freaking amazing, i barely ever laugh when i go to see a comedy movie, these days they are simply ......, i don't even know how to describe it from frustration, and i am seriously disappointed in the negative reviews given to this movie, i mean they way i see it, either you just want another bs movie to laugh at with no issues for your weak soul, or you really haven't got any idea how real life is and how to handle things with love, all entitiled for their opinion but god, give me a break with all you people these days not being able to really grasp how life really is , and get so freaking nasty because you cant handle it.

Fyi i am only 24, but i guess i managed to get what a lot haven't

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This is acceptable

Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
3 January 2013

Can This is 40 hold even a candle to the quintessential Judd Apatow films such as Bridesmaids, Funny People, and Superbad? Not in the slightest. However, it can stand on its own for being a zippy, fun, and occasionally depressing look into the period of time when your marriage spark has simmered, your kids begin dictating your life, your work bores or overwhelms you, and your love-life begins going south, and it's just a matter of time before your midlife crisis hits you.

Judd Apatow casts his wife and his two children as part of this dysfunctional family, hopefully not hoping to showcase or even mirror his own family life. Anyone in the direly urgent situation the characters of this film are in need to take immediate action. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reunite as Pete and Debbie, two characters we were acquainted with in one of Apatow's early productions that put him on the map for comedy, Knocked Up (shockingly and rather criminally unseen by me). We open with a shot of the two having sex in the shower, commemorating Debbie's fortieth birthday. When she learns Pete took Viagra in order to stimulate their sexual experience, she's disgusted and angry and leaves disgruntled.

We then see that this sudden blowup isn't just because of the Viagra, but because of the way her life has played out. She is unhappy and uninspired, with her two girls, one a teenager obsessed with technology (Maude Apatow), the other, a rambunctious tyke hellbent on bothering the one obsessed with technology (Iris Apatow), her job, which is an upper class boutique filled with knick-knacks likely only able to be afforded by the 1%, her husband, who has pursued a rather thankless job, running his own record company, and just the current lack of romanticism in her relationship.

That's about the extent of the plot. Apatow then builds off this slender idea by creating a number of mildly interesting but relatively unnecessary supporting characters, such as Albert Brooks' Larry, Pete's father he is secretly loaning money to, and Megan Fox's Desi, who Debbie suspects of stealing well over $12,000 of the store's money in merchandise. For a huge theft, she doesn't seem too concerned about it. After all, she has a somewhat dysfunctional marriage and money troubles, despite affording a large house, a BMW, an iPad, among other luxuries.

Yet these minor little details can not disguise the heart at the core of This is 40, which is largely elevated by its two charismatic leads. Paul Rudd is at his best here, and usually is when he shies away from the forced quirky imagine he has gone on to play frequently in some of his films, and the attractive and talented Leslie Mann delivers Debbie's character in a way that isn't too schmaltzy, whiny, or unbelievable.

I believe the biggest problem at hand here is the length, which some viewers will not be able to tolerate. This is 40 goes on about thirty minutes too long, introducing many different characters and subplots, never double-checking to assure it has tied them all up by the time the ending roles around. Not long ago, I commended Four Christmases, a film I otherwise was unimpressed with, for knowing when to end and not carry on for another thirty minutes. This is 40 provides us with unnecessary stories of theft drama and biological father drama, two subplots that could've been wholly evaded and left the film at a more ideal one-hundred minute runtime, give or take. Apatow's greatest strength and his downfall comes at the fact he has a form of energy that never quite simmers, and when he's simultaneously writing and directing, things can get overwrought and sometimes out of hand.

Yet This is 40 provides enough down-to-earth realism and an admirably efficient cast to make an honest, endearing look at a marriage that is losing its grip on reality and security. Apatow proves he hasn't totally lost touch with the common public and their issue of marital discrepancy, and makes a funny, touching, light-hearted, and occasionally, upsetting drama that works simply on its own terms.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi, Chris O'Dowd, Lena Dunham, Graham Parker, Jason Segel, and Annie Mumolo. Directed by: Judd Apatow.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

You could make better use of your time

Author: spastickitchen from St. Johnsbury, VT, USA
16 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I typically enjoy dramas and comedies in the niche of this film, but this particular film has some serious problems for me:

1. A comedy film should have some laughs. This film did have a few (about three) funny scenes: A. The scene at the principal's office. B. The vacation scene. C. The scene when Debbie met her employee for lunch to accuse her of stealing. I say "funny" as the perceived intention, though, because I only personally found humor in one of those three scenes.

2. If the film is then assumed to be a drama, it should have character development, a plot, a climax, etc., yet the film has a character development coefficient of zero. Throughout the film, the characters face many dilemmas, yet they learn nothing from the experience. The behavior of these characters never adjusts, and there is no "moral of the story" as I saw. The plot is the same as I just said, with no particular development of greater story themes, so there is no development put forth to the audience. In fact, some of the scenes do not even flow into each other, leaving the viewer somewhat disoriented. In terms of a climax, I did not perceive one, and the opportunity for some climactic scene when Pete is in an accident and gets beat up really begged for some sort of climax, yet the whole situation just fizzled out without a bang, much like the rest of the movie. This left me feeling as though I simply could have just spent the last two hours doing anything else and it could have been more enjoyable.

So if you are reading this review in order to decide whether or not to watch this film, I suggest rather to clean your windows, or paint that awning over the front porch, as it will probably give you much more enjoyment than this film, if you are anything like me. Or watch a better-reviewed comedy or drama, if you prefer.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

wow that sucked

Author: Michael Gunton from Pennsylvania
30 March 2013

This was just bad script and characters that made it impossible to sympathize with. And wow his daughter Sadie can't act, though she certainly can overact. The younger daughter was better, though probably only because her character wasn't raucously annoying. I'm not sure if he could have beat the annoying Jew character to death anymore either. I rented this, as did many others, because I liked 40 yr old virgin and knocked-up. But I think I laughed out loud maybe 4 times max, for about 2 secs disappointing. I don't know what happened with Apatow for this movie, but not much worse than watching punchlines fail time and time again. Pass on this and instead see Election, Flirting with Disaster, Klown for starters-those are seriously funny.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Excellent waste of 2 hours

Author: Steve Christensen ( from United States
25 March 2013

Truly enjoyed this movie. Don't understand all the hate. It's a look at a marriage of a couple who are both approaching 40. Think of it as a month in the life of. Great humor with drama intertwined. What I really love about the Aptow pics is the dialog. I could and did relate with a lot of the situations presented in the film. Melissa McCarthy has a small role, and is a scream! To see and hear Graham Parker and the Rumor was a blessing. (Billie Jo Armstrong from Green Day has a neat little cameo) and the remaining music was eclectic and fun. To me this movie demands another showing, and that's what I will do in the next day or two. Ignore the haters and give it a shot. It's worthy of your time.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

1 star for every time I laughed in this 2 hour "comedy" 2/10

Author: mjacksongta from TORONTO
16 March 2013

never been disappointed in any movie that I had no expectations for before bit there is a first time for everything. this movie was just an excuse to let every actor and actress from the young up to the old get them selves in a rant and start swearing pointlessly. I spent the first half hour trying to figure out whether it was a horrible comedy in which no one in the theatre was laughing or whether it was the worst drama I have ever seen.35 minutes into it I didn't care either way.

never been so let down in IMDb user reviews before. all ratings over 3 I'm convinced are extras in the movie and the 8+ ratings must be friends and family of judd apatow. do not watch.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not a Comedy

Author: John Likas ( from Greece
26 February 2013

This is not a comedy as stated. This is not even a Drama-Comedy. This is a depressed drama of how a family can turn out through financial and relationship problems. And certainly IS NOT a "knocked up sequel" as it has absolutely nothing to do with that movie. The actors are great but they are not good enough to turn this meaningless clueless script around. I usually hate Comedy-Dramas because these two genres are absolute opposites. When you want to see something easy going, to have a bit of laugh and two hours of entertainment with a smile on your face at the end, you definitely should not watch that depressing drama movie. There are other movies too written by bachelors trying to state that marriage is hell, but without the comedy element to it, its just pointless

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This is a 7

Author: Joshua N from United States
18 February 2013

With the IMDb rating between 6 and 7 and my score being a 7, this really won't move the needle, but here goes...

First of all, this was a very cumbersome plot with sprawling families, work relationships, distant parents, and a boy who looks like Tom Petty, but with horse teeth. So, it's no surprise that it took this film nearly 2.5 hours to run its course. In fact, the family theme runs through this film to the degree that a film like THE GODFATHER does. Well, that's the only similarity; there's no Luca Brasi here.

And, yet I am conflicted. Part of me wants to commend Judd Apatow for writing and directing something that moves at the pace of family rather than at the pace of the lizard brain of your average movie-goer. In this vein, Apatow takes lots of time to introduce seemingly minor characters, which is somewhat standard for Apatow with introducing bit part actors to the world. This strategy worked well for Albert Brooks here, who nailed it as Pete's (Paul Rudd) father. Also, Charlyne Yi has a nice seemingly demonic speaking part--a scene that almost makes you curious as to how many takes it took to get everyone not to laugh. So, the supporting cast is quite developed--same for John Lithgow's Oliver. Megan Fox can't act, but everyone already knows that.

However, I am conflicted because we have a sprawling cast of characters and because this moves at the pace of family, it was just too slow for cinema. The movie seemed to have too much down time and although the drama between Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) is likely what you'd find in a passive-aggressive marriage of two people who are both growing weary of aging; I think there are a few too many peaks and valleys here as they argue about everything ad nauseum. Whether it's popping a Viagra, or eating cupcakes, or being judgmental...all they do is fight. So, in that light, I feel as though we could have had 30 min fewer of the marital distress after Apatow already established the theme convincingly earlier on.

As for some odds and ends, it's a bit surprising to me that Judd Apatow is so comfortable casting his wife into not just romantic roles with Paul Rudd, but that he writes topless scenes for her also! Either they have a very comfortable marriage or there's something slightly off there. I get that they're artists, but....Also, the gratuitous f*** bombs dropped by his older daughter Maude (as Sadie) was kind of funny, but a little gratuitous (which may be why it was a little funny).

Finally, this movie was not as funny as I had expected it might be, and it's apparent Apatow sacrificed some of the 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN vibe to do something a bit more serious. I don't fault him for that--THIS IS 40 was funny enough to make me laugh out loud a handful of times. And, the real show-stopper here, in my opinion, is the youngest daughter Iris (playing Charlotte). I think she has some of the most hilarious lines. Two that come to mind are about how her older sister is a nightmare to her so watching LOST should be no big deal, and how watching LOST was going to give her some shaky a** nightmares, which is a beautiful shot taken against the shaky cam epidemic in modern filmmaking.

TL;DR: Utterly watchable, though it drags in some parts. The acting is quite good for a comedy, but then again this isn't strictly comedy. Not as funny as you might hope, but you're rooting for them so there are some redeeming features. Don't expect too much, and you won't be let down.

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