Movie Review: Judd Apatow's 'This Is 40'

There are almost too many good movies in theaters right now. From Les Miserables to Django Unchained to Silver Linings Playbook and The Hobbit, there are enough blockbusters to make every avid movie goer happily break the bank and see them all in theaters. While many of these movies are drumming up Oscar buzz, they aren’t the only ones worth seeing this season. The coming of middle-age comedy, This Is 40, also hit theaters this holiday season, as a “sort of sequel” to Knocked Up from famed director/ writer, Judd Apatow.

This Is 40 stars Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd reprising their roles as married couple Pete and Debbie, as the couple celebrate and lament over their big 4-0. While Mann and Rudd probably won’t be bringing home any little gold statuettes named Oscar this awards season, both deserve major props for their performances. Their characters make resolutions to better themselves and their relationship, unfortunately this only makes matters worse for them and their family. The couple, famous for awkward bickering in Knocked Up, pretty much bicker for 134 minutes straight on the big screen, but both actors have endearing qualities and impeccable comedic timing to make it worth your while. Their daughters, Charlotte and Sadie, played by director Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann’s real children Iris and Maude, were fresh, fun, and adorable additions – with a few sassy one liners of their own. While I could have done without the same fight the entire movie between Debbie and Pete, appearances by Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox, Jason Segal, Lena Dunham, John Lithgow, and Chris O’Dowd lighten the mood and changed the dynamic for the better.

In addition to the expected hilarious situations, like when Debbie and Pete decide to eat 7 weed cookies, This Is 40 has a much deeper undertones. Debbie, Pete, and most of the other characters constantly face demons of their own, whether it be trying to stop smoking or popping Oxycodone. This Is 40 is rife with relatable problems for any age, ranging from “Daddy issues,” and abandonment problems, to breaking bad habits, financial woes, and having to deal with a hormonal 13-year-old girl.

Overall, This Is 40 is certainly worth watching. The film derives laughs from true, witty humor and flawless, deadpan delivery. Apatow doesn’t cut any corners with cheap laughs, the humor is smart and belly-achingly hilarious. You won’t hear any fake, sympathetic chortles or forced, uncomfortable guffaws from audience members. If you’re looking for a good, solid comedy instead of a 2.5 hour musical starring Wolverine, a bumpy ride through Middle Earth, or another uber gory Tarantino flick, then This Is 40 is right for you.

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