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This Is 40 - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
This Is 40
Directing: B
Acting: B+
Writing: B
Cinematography: B
Editing: B-

Hey, 21st-century white forty-something suburbanite parents! You'll love This Is 40! Well, maybe. "Love" is a strong word. Wouldn't want to set you up for even more disappointment. You'll enjoy it if you happen to be there!

I mean, okay. I'll be fair. I'm white, sure. I'm also three and a half years from forty. But I'm gay and my partner was born in India; yay diversity! He's also 39. The truth is, we still saw a lot of ourselves in this movie. Even aside from the children thing, which we don't have any likely never will, just the specifics of aging at this particular time of life was something that fairly well spoke to us. Will it speak to younger people? That's harder to say. There aren't a whole lot of younger people in this movie, unless they're there to serve as a reminder of how much older everyone else is. Old or not, it's always nice to see John Lithgow.

Judd Apatow, now 45, apparently has a thing for people who are 40. That guy from The 40 Year Old Virgin would now be 47. Forget about him! Now we've got Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who star in what, let's face it, is another retreat of earlier Judd Apatow movies. I think Judd Apatow is kind of running out of ideas, or at least he's maybe a little bit of a one-trick pony.

But, it's such a nice trick! It's too bad he likes to take so long to accomplish it; this movie is 134 minutes long and would have been better served with at least around 20 of them shaved off. I'm all for long movies if they are great, but merely-pretty-good movies don't really need to be this long.

Just don't make them the fairly limited number of minutes featuring Melissa McCarthy! I wouldn't call her versatile, exactly, but she's certainly reliably funny. She makes me want to see her in any movie, even if the movie kind of looks like shit. She delivers the laughs and doesn't disappoint here either -- with an added bonus during the end credits.

Well, anyway. You might have guessed that this is a movie about a married couple dealing with the fact that they're forty, and they've barely got an idea of how they should deal with their kids (both of whom deep down have hearts of gold, naturally), and are feeling lost in their marriage. One impressive thing about this movie is how it takes some fairly depressing themes and actually makes them funny.

There's not much more that can be said of the plot. It's pretty predictable, the characters are surface-drawn, we always feel well assured that nothing terrible is going to happen and whatever conflicts arise will be worked through. This is really kind of like a sitcom episode that happens to last two and a quarter hours.

But hey, it's one of the few good sitcoms! Not particularly memorable but genuinely fun while it lasts. It did make me cry a little bit but I'm a sap. There's a lot better stuff to choose from in theatres but I'm not sorry I saw it, and neither will anyone else be. Judd Apatow, it turns out, is cinematic comfort food. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing expressly great either, but whatever.

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann show us the way of white suburbanites in THIS IS 40.

Overall: B
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