Judd Apatow has grown as a director. He started out doing funny-vulgar humour, like “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and producing similar comedies. Like with his last movie “funny people” Apatow has opted to not totally ignore the vulgar humour, but to intercut it with deeper subject matters, such as love, marriage, parenthood, responsibility and family, for the most part, it works.
“This is 40” is a spin-off to “knocked up” With Paul Rudd (Pete) Leslie Mann (Debbie) Maude Apatow (Sadie) and Iris Apatow (Charlotte) all reprising their roles. You may notice the absence of Katherine Heigel and Seth Rogen, this is due to Heigel very opening bashing Apatow during the press conferences for Knocked Up. Although Seth Rogen doesn’t appear, his character is mentioned.
Times are tough for the family, Sadie is going through puberty and is turning into a drama queen and they’re having huge financial difficulty. Pete’s record company is going bust and his deadbeat dad (Albert Brooks) is sponging money from him.
The first half of the movie plays out like a standard Apatow comedy, but then it goes a lot deeper and examines the characters relationships and problems. It becomes more and more interesting as the story unfolds. What’s unique about this film is, there is no obvious happy ending. The characters still annoy each other, there isn’t a quick-fix happy ever after ending, which really makes this movie stand heads and shoulders above the rest.
I enjoyed this movie and I loved catching up with these characters, but it was a little too long. Some scenes could have easily been cut, to make it run a bit smoother. With the same cast and creative team this would make an excellent HBO or Showtime series.