Aging grossly in This Is 40 | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Aging grossly in This Is 40 

Robert Smigel and Paul Rudd in "This Is 40"

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Robert Smigel and Paul Rudd in "This Is 40"

In the comedies of Hollywood writer-producer-director Judd Apatow, two rules apply: People grow up painfully and reluctantly, and filthier always equals funnier.

Apatow's new comedy, This Is 40, is no exception. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles from Knocked Up as Pete and Debbie, an attractive but chronically unhappy married couple trying to navigate adulthood with two young daughters.

Pete owns a record label, where he's trying to revive interest in old-school acts such as Graham Parker and Paul Westerberg. Debbie owns a boutique clothing store, where she employs 20-something hotties including one played by Megan Fox.

That's really all you need to know, because This Is 40 isn't much of a movie. It's more of a premise upon which a dozen funny performers riff on hard-R topics.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of Apatow-style jokes in this thing, both scripted and clearly improvised. Jokes about colonoscopies and mammograms and gynecology tools. Jokes about abortion and spousal murder and setting other moms on fire. Jokes about hemorrhoids and egg donors and toilet habits. Jokes about escorts and Oxycontin addicts and French-kissing babies. Jokes about Jews and lesbians and how to tell a gay man mustache from a straight man mustache. And, of course, dick jokes—lots and lots of dick jokes.

At two hours and 15 minutes, it's extreme and exhausting. But it's often very funny, thanks to the mathematics of sheer volume. I laughed a lot, even when I didn't want to. Look for funny bits from Albert Brooks, Robert Smigel, Lena Dunham and especially Melissa McCarthy, who once again demolishes every scene she's in. (Stick around for the end credits.)

But nothing really lingers. This is comedy of situation and language, not character. Despite a noble effort from Mann, the people we're supposed to care about aren't worth our affection. If you want to watch self-absorbed Los Angelenos crack dirty jokes for two hours, this is your movie. You'll have a genuinely good time, then instantly forget it all in the theater parking lot.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Aging grossly, and gracefully."

Film Details

This Is 40
Rated R · 133 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.thisis40movie.com
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow
Producer: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel and Clayton Townsend
Cast: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Lena Dunham and Charlyne Yi

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for This Is 40

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to …

by Andrew190 on Dueling college a cappella groups in Pitch Perfect (Film Review)

We'd be hard pressed to find a free local weekly with film reviews this poetic. Your writers translate complex ideas …

by Aims Arches on Isabelle Huppert Unforgettably Avenges Herself in Elle (Film Review)

Ever since the surprise success of the Fox TV show Glee audiences have been exposed to the world of choirs, …

by philip190 on Dueling college a cappella groups in Pitch Perfect (Film Review)

robertm748: You mean without warning, apart from the very first paragraph of his review???

by Neil Morris on Amy Adams’s Authenticity Elevates Tom Ford’s Glam Pulp Fiction in Nocturnal Animals (Film Review)

Nathan Gelgud is unsure whether the disenfranchised classes in England are whiter than in the US? Really?

Well, …

by Eileen Smyth on Aliens land in an English slum in Attack the Block (Film Review)

Comments

Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to …

by Andrew190 on Dueling college a cappella groups in Pitch Perfect (Film Review)

We'd be hard pressed to find a free local weekly with film reviews this poetic. Your writers translate complex ideas …

by Aims Arches on Isabelle Huppert Unforgettably Avenges Herself in Elle (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation