This is 40 – Review (Courier #17)

28 Mar

Judd Apatow returns to cinemas with his latest film: This is 40. Directed, produced and also written by one of the kings of Hollywood comedy, This is 40 follows in the footsteps of The 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People and Knocked Up.

The film follows Pete (Paul Rudd), his wife Debbie (Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann) and their two kids Sadie and Charlotte (both played by Apatow’s children, Maude and Iris) as they go about their daily lives in California. Pete and Debbie, who were both characters in Knocked Up, are now entering their forties and the dreaded ‘middle age’. They have plenty of problems as Pete’s record business is struggling whilst Debbie is having trouble accepting she is turning forty years old. The whole film builds up to the finale of Pete’s fortieth birthday party at the house when everything comes to the boil.

Firstly, the film isn’t completely sure whether it is a comedy or a drama, but as a comedy it passes the mark, as it is very funny throughout. It also manages to be very accurate and well observed of what middle age does to people; seeing Pete cycling in full apparel with a group of similarly middle-aged men fits the ‘it’s funny because it’s true’ maxim perfectly. However, Megan Fox’s part and the related sub-plot seems shoehorned in, unnecessary and lowers the tone of the film. Though, the biggest gripe is the fact that the film is simply too long.

VERDICT: Unsure on whether it is a true comedy or a drama, This Is 40 still manages to be very funny thanks to Apatow’s witty writing. Unfortunately, this film could easily be called ‘This Is 40 Minutes Too Long’.


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