I’m not yet 40 but any reservations I had about hitting that milestone age have been reassured by this film.
If, when I waltz into my fourth decade I have a husband with mojito green eyes, a full head of hair, a job, initiative to knock back Viagra and the ability to deposit excrement that doesn’t evoke a gagging reflex, maybe I too would have the expression of someone who’s just had laughing gas for lunch – as does Leslie Mann as her role of the rather shrill mother in this existential rom-com.
If this film had a scent it would be of freshly burnt toast: Domesticated bliss tethering on the brink of manageable mayhem.
Blokes? You too have nothing to worry about when it comes to plunging 40 candles in your cake. If you end up anything like the puppyish Paul Rudd, who plays the king of this domesticated castle (aka dad), then you will have a hot, funny wife who lets Megan Fox swim in your pool (yes you have a pool), turns down football players, thinks oral sex is a good substitute for nicotine when trying to give up fags and who’s made gravity her bitch. Happy days.
This Christmas card couple both enjoy raising two adorable girls. The drama they bring is a far cry from spilling their meow meow on gran’s sofa or getting pregnant with Darth the car park attendant at Lidl. Starting a period and having an unhealthy obsession with Lost is about as scandalous as these darling daughters get.
If this film had a scent it would be of freshly burnt toast: Domesticated bliss tethering on the brink of manageable mayhem. We see the family tackle the typical first-world problems that the middle class have the privilege to endure (money woes? They’ll just have to sell the signed Paul Mccartney artwork after a sob session in the BMW).
This Is 40 is a ‘sort of sequel’ to the story of the accidental birth in the very obvious rom-com Knocked Up, both directed by the talented Judd Apatow. This isn’t incremental to the enjoyment of the film but comedy buffs will enjoy the mild references to the 2007 hit film starring Seth Rogan.
Apatow’s ‘King Of Hollywood Comedy’ title is well-deserved. In addition to Knocked Up, he wrote and directed The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Funny People and produced Superbad, Girls and Bridesmaids so you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in for a side-splitting romp with This Is 40.
However, this optimistic depiction of middle-age is a bit too middle of the road to raise more than the frequent smirk. It is enjoyable, even if it is about 40 mins longer than your average comedy (Hollywood? My creaky knees called. They want their 96 min films back) it’s just not got the sheen of Apatow’s impressive back catalogue.
Despite the loss of feeling in your legs, it’s well worth toughing it out for the credits to see Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious improvisation scene. Saving the best for the end? Hopefully this whole film is a case of silly art imitating real life.
Released: 14th Feb 2013
Director: Judd Apatow