This is 40 could be easily renamed to This is 30 or This is the life of a married, urban couple with kids. Judd Apatow outdone himself with this little flick, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, as he made a combination of all those little things that make a life for a man or a woman in their forties. Of course, you don’t have to be that age to identify yourself with the characters and situations. All you need is a stable relationship and you will be in familiar territory. All those little and not-so-little fights, constant nagging, and problems of various nature: financial, emotional, and physical.
If you ever watched any of the C.K. Louis shows you know what are you in for. So, this is not that raunchy Judd Apatow comedy many were expecting. He was 45 at the time of the filming, so he had a lot of time to work on the script. And it shows as it feels really personal. If, however, you’re looking for that trademark Apatow comedy, you might be better off watching some of his earlier movies. Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Pineapple Express are all good choices. You should also know that the runtime is two hours and 14 minutes, so just be ready for that.
An almost documentary storytelling combined with good acting and a phenomenal and brutally honest script created a movie that will make you laugh really hard. But, on the other hand, also examines your life and where you are in your current relationship. This roller-coaster of emotions is not easy to handle but we have good guides on this journey. It’s difficult to admit certain things. And when they are staring back at you from the screen, they are much harder to ignore. As for the story, there’s no classically structured plot.
This is 40 follows a series of events happening in the lives of a small family. Pete owns his own record label that promotes classical rock and is having financial difficulties. And his wife Debbie owns a clothing store that is doing quite well. However, she suspects that one of her employees is stealing from her. And then you have the kids with their usual set of problems. While this decision to not have a classic plot made the movie feel more unfocused, it also made it more authentic. Judd Apatow, the director and writer of this movie was actually 45 at the time of the filming.
This is 40 is one of those movies that you either get or don’t get, there is no middle ground. Those who don’t get will find it quite boring, irritating, and too long. While those who do get it will enjoy saying that happens to me too. This is the main point of this movie, nobody talks about personal problems in their lives to all the people around them (with the exception of their closest friends). And now we have the opportunity to look into the life of another couple and say we are so similar. We can identify with their problems and solutions with the ultimately satisfying experience that we are not alone and that the same shit happens to most people, but they don’t talk about it openly.
One final note that I cannot avoid is the social critique of the couple featured in this movie. They are both rich, own their own businesses, and have a big ass house with enough money to indulge in risky financial moves. And from my perspective, they act as two spoiled, adolescent brats without any regard for the future or their children. A true example of the new spoiled and overindulged middle class that somehow miraculously formed in the US. Take an average couple without money and give them a tenth of what these whiners have and they will be happy for the rest of their lives. But then again, these families exist and their problems are real for them, so it’s just all a matter of perspective.
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow
Cast: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Megan Fox
Fun Facts: The two girls playing Leslie Mann’s kids are actually her kids in real life. Her husband is the director and writer of the movie, Judd Apatow.