Judd Apatow’s “This is 40”


The theatrical poster for “This is 40.” Courtesy of Google images.

Will Stallmeyer, Staff Writer

Labeled the “sort of sequel to Knocked Up”, the latest film in Judd Apatow’s universe is “This is 40”, starring Paul Rudd, one of Apatow’s favorite leading men, and Leslie Mann, Apatow’s wife in real life.  The movie follows the lives of a middle-aged couple, Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann), in suburban Los Angeles, with the story centering around the couple’s 40th birthday and the struggles they face coming to terms with their aging.

Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd in “This is 40.”

In classic Judd Apatow style, the film is riddled with raunchy comedy but comes to a sentimental conclusion about growing old with a family.  The movie addresses common issues in aging couples and tries to make sense of the suburban lifestyle.  As part of turning 40, the couple attempts to change the things they dislike about themselves and their spouses.  They try to reignite the sexuality between them that has seemed to dwindle over their many years together.  Pete has money problems with his business as the owner of a record label.  He tries to hide these issues but they are eventually revealed to his wife, Debbie.  Similarly Debbie has an unplanned pregnancy that she tries to hide from Pete, but all is eventually revealed to him.

The couple also struggles with problems with their parents.  Pete’s father is constantly mooching money off of the couple’s already struggling family and Debbie is unhappy over this.  Debbie’s father, however, is absent most of her life and, as part of redesigning her life at 40, Debbie tries to rebuild her lost relationship with her father.

Pete and Debbie struggle with their children and the unity of their family. They also have trouble keeping their daughters, Apatow and Mann’s daughters, Maude and Iris Apatow, off of their electronic devices, a common problem most parents today can relate to.

These topics might seem heavy and somewhat gloomy but they are accompanied by  Apatow’s classic comedic touches throughout the film. There are plenty of scenes mocking and relating to today’s society which are funny enough to inspire audible laughs from its audience.

The movie has a picture-perfect ending.  The couple rekindles their love for each other, Pete is happy about the pregnancy, the family’s money troubles seem to be turn around, the kids finally appreciate their parents, and all seems to be happy in with the direction of their lives.  This story book ending may take away from the quality of the movie for some.  However, the movie is a comedy, and a happy, light-hearted ending gives hope to the viewer that the struggles of their lives may in fact work out.  “This is 40” is a laugh-out-loud comedy with thought provoking relatable themes that leave its viewers smiling.  It is the perfect movie for anyone looking for a good laugh.