In my opinion Judd Apatow started out strong, directing wise, with The 40 Year Old Virgin and then steadily declined from there. Maybe I’m not supposed to view Funny People as a comedy, but I do and, well, the title is only half right. This is 40 is the spin-off of Knocked Up and his latest attempt. This is 40 follows Pete and Debbie as they struggle with running two businesses, the stress of family life, and, of course, turning 40.
This is obviously a comedy so there aren’t any innovative or ground breaking camera angles and nothing is visually stunning, then again it’s not meant to be, you’re there to laugh. Apatow relies more on spoken jokes than visual gags, which is his strong suit. He also casts actors who can take what he wrote on the page and just run with it. If you’ve ever seen a gag reel from one of his movies you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is 40 is Apatow’s most mature work to date. He nicely blends humor with heart on a level that we can all connect with. But where are the dick jokes? They’re there, just in a more mature manner. How can they be more mature? Well, to me, the jokes aren’t there for the sake of jokes. The characters in the movie say things because that is what people say in real life, albeit an exaggerated version.
Like all Apatow movies it is a little long, clocking in at over two hours, and the inevitable director’s cut is sure to be longer. The running time never bothered me though (sorry Hobbit fans). While it felt disjointed at times the pacing of the movie kept my attention in the moment and not wondering what happened before or after. It’s like a well directed episode of some real housewives show.
My one little gripe is that there was no mention of Seth Rogen’s or Katherine Heigl’s character from Knocked Up. I know Heigl blasted Knocked Up after it came out so I wasn’t expecting a cameo or anything, but like an off handed comment would have been cool, or Rogen’s character showing up because they’re no longer together or something. I don’t know, just brain storming.
This is 40 isn’t gut bustingly funny, but it is consistently funny, which goes a long way in my book. I would rather laugh and chuckle the whole way through than have one tear inducing laugh at the beginning and wait the next two hours for another. Again, it’s gross, but it’s not gross for the sake of being gross, you could imagine yourself saying the exact same thing. I found myself making mental notes for comebacks in case I was ever in the same situation. There could have been some more character development, but beyond that This is 40 is very enjoyable and very funny, which is most important, right?
7 out of 11
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Check out the trailer below: