Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Film Review: This is 40

About the film
This is 40 is a romantic comedy film that was released on DVD in the UK on 24th June. The film has a run time of 128 minutes and is rated 15. It is also a sort of sequel to the 2007 film Knocked Up.

Pete and Debbie appear to be an average married couple with two young children. They both have pretty good jobs with Debbie owning a store and Pete a record label. But, with them both turning 40, Pete and Debbie begin to re-evaluate their lives and realise that their perfect lives are far from that. The film tells the story of Pete and Debbie in the midst of mid-life crisis’ and trying to figure out their less than passionate relationship.

What I thought
Sometimes I really want to watch a film that you don’t need to pay much attention to. This was exactly that film. Although called a kind of sequel to Knocked Up, it isn’t at all really. The only reason it is called this is due to the two main characters being in Knocked Up.

Pete and Debbie have been together a long time, each has their own business and they also have 2 daughters. The routine in their house is far from perfect, with Pete being pretty lazy and Debbie feeling like she has to do everything in the mornings. As she reaches her fortieth birthday, Debbie decides it is time for change and the whole family could benefit from doing things a bit differently. I really enjoyed seeing what family life was like for this couple and how much the kids became a part of the story.

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann both do great in their roles as Pete and Debbie. Rudd gives Pete a laid back attitude and it soon becomes clear that he doesn’t really think a lot of things through. Rudd has always been a great comedy actor for me and I’ll pretty much watch anything he is in. He didn’t disappoint in This is 40 either. Pete is a silly character who doesn’t take life as seriously as maybe he should and this was a great contrast to his wife. Playing Debbie is Leslie Mann who also does a wonderful job. Unlike Pete though, Mann’s character is quite over the top. She screeches, screams and is a bit pathetic when she doesn’t get her own way but I still loved her in this film.

Even though the two main actors were great in their roles, the were outshined by Leslie Mann’s own children who play Pete and Debbie’s children in the film. Maude and Iris Apatow were utterly amazing as Sadie and Charlotte. It must obviously have helped that they are real siblings and that they also got to work with their mother. The scenes with each of the girls was great because their personalities shined through. As the elder sister, Sadie is a teenager with a hell of a lot of hormones and she was hilarious when it came to showing how she really felt. Younger sister Charlotte, bless her, didn’t really know what the hell was going on with everyone and she just wanted everyone to be happy. How sweet!

Plot wise, This is 40 was pretty weak unfortunately. It was nice to see the life that Pete and Debbie had for a while, and to see the problems they had in their marriage. However, there were just too many problems going on and it was one thing after another all of the time. The plot doesn’t really delve deeply into any of the couple’s problems and instead, skims over them like they’re not all that important. Even though there was quite a lot going on, I felt as though the film was a lot longer than it probably should have been. At just over 2 hours long, I think a good half an hour could have been chopped off the time. After an hour and a half, I was getting a bit bored and just wanted the film to end.

Overall, This is 40 was pretty good but not great. As a comedy film, there are plenty of laughs throughout although some parts really grossed me out quite a bit. I just wish the film had been a little shorter so I didn’t get bored with it towards the end.  

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