This is 40

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I remember being a kid and watching Siskel & Ebert review movies, and they’d sometimes knock a bad movie by saying “I wish they would’ve made a movie about that neighbor instead. That seemed like a much more interesting character.”

When I saw the movie Knocked Up, I thought it was okay – but found the other couple more interesting. Well, that’s the couple this movie was made about – Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd. They are turning 40 and having lots of problems; now, you thrown in fathers played by John Lithgow and Albert Brooks – perfect. On top of that, you have this quirky comedian Charlyne Li that I enjoy, as well as Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog)…what could go wrong?

For starters, the movie is two hours and 15 minutes long. Had two hours been edited out, it would be great. I did laugh about 15 minutes total, but spending such a long time with such despicable, uninteresting, and unfunny characters – in a comedy – just wasn’t an enjoyable night for me.

The most frustrating thing about the unfunny moments is – they could’ve been. For example, Albert Brooks had funny scenes. Did Judd Apatow (writer/producer) save all the good lines for him?

I enjoyed a scene where the couple fights after Mann tried to seduce Rudd.

There’s a scene where Mann is hitting it off with a pro hockey player that is cute. Yet, even these scenes are filled with situations we’ve seen before in other films.

And an unfunny scene where the kids (played again by Rudd and Mann’s real life children), are dancing to Nicki Minaj. Rudd puts his music on (Alice in Chains), trying to convince them it’s good. Well, he did that with Rush in I Love You, Man (Rudd is stealing material from himself!). It makes me wonder what he does when he watches the dailies.

Everybody will laugh when Mann is surprised the hockey player is interested in her and she says “You would do sex with me?”

The hockey player responses, “What, are you Borat?”

So when other scenes don’t work – like Rudd investigating his butt for a lump and wanting his wife to look at it – who around Rudd pretended to laugh and told him to keep it in the final cut? There’s not a single person that will think that is funny and many will be grossed out.

I don’t mind the crass material, if it’s funny. This movie wasn’t.

And now that I think about it – it’s the second time in the film we got a gross butt joke. There was the cliché scene of Rudd having a prostate exam, as well as footage of Mann getting a colonoscopy. And believe me, the scenes are about as funny as I just described there.

I enjoyed the other three films Apatow directed: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and the very underrated Funny People. This movie was just a complete mess.

So the story deals with the week both of these people turn 40. They fight about the little things couples fight about – and a few big things. Many of the big things just don’t feel realistic.

It’s interesting that Rudd is running an indie record label – and signing Graham Parker. It’s great to hear his tune Watch the Moon Come Down, and hear about his foot having gout.

Mann runs a boutique. Yet, she has an employing stealing $12,000. They are losing all kinds of money, yet – he is still giving money to his dad and she’s paying for a personal trainer. They even get to the point where they’re going to sell their house and…he’s still giving money to dad. At this point, you just start rooting for them to get divorced.

Chris O’Dowd has a few funny lines as an employee of the record label. Jason Segel does what he does best – annoys everyone.

Megan Fox plays, well…a fox.
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) does have a few fun scenes (and a surprisingly unfunny outtake scene in the final credits).

And I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the funniest radio personalities – Phil Hendrie – pop up and punch Rudd in the face. It’s a move I wish somebody would’ve done to Apatow for wasting my two hours on this.

this is 40

This is filmmaker Judd Apatows family — with Rudd filling in for Judd.

The movie reminds me of the days when I’d hear a great song on the radio and I’d go buy the album. It would be a band I wasn’t familiar with, but that hit single was so good I figured the rest of the album would be. You might find one other song that was okay and a lot of filler. You’d sit and wonder why the band couldn’t create any more magic in that studio those few months. Would it be that hard for three or four other good tracks?

I guess those of us 40 and older have analogies that would go back to albums and not downloading music.

Ya know, speaking of 40…just rent Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin instead. Really, the best part of this movie is the soundtrack. Aside from Graham Parker, we get Loudon Wainwright, Wilco, Norah Jones, Stone Temple Pilots, Paul Simon (which goes nice after a funny Simon & Garfunkel fight), Lindsey Buckingham, Fiona Apple, and thankfully we didn’t have to hear Green Day – just a fun cameo with singer Billy Joe.

This movie gets 1 ½ stars out of 5.


  • joshboardfox5

    Rudd is always very likable and fun on screen. Who would've thought the older brother from Clueless would have such a career. Even in the movie that has he and Jennifer Aniston (can't remember the title), living on a hippie commune … Rudd actually made that watchable.

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