28 mar. 2013

My Review: This is 40 (5/10)

¨All of a sudden we`re a magnet of negativity. What did we do? ¨

Judd Apatow has produced, written, and directed some of the best comedies since the late 90`s. There is no doubt that he has reinvented the genre and made some memorable comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. With Funny People he switched to dramedy, a more serious type of comedy that`s sort of a reflection on today`s society. This is 40 is sort of a sequel to Knocked Up since it focuses on some of the supporting characters in that movie, but it follows a similar premise as Funny People because it is much more serious in tone. It has some really funny moments, but at the same time it is an authentic portrayal of an upper middle class Beverly Hills family facing a midlife crisis. Apatow not only directed this film, but he wrote the screenplay as well and worked with his family, so this was a very personal project. The script is funny, but sometimes Apatow relies too heavily on sex and bathroom gags that have already grown old. For the most part this film is enjoyable, but it suffers from an overlong screenplay and some pacing issues. I enjoyed Funny People a little more than this because This is 40 was kind of the same thing. There were some very funny performances and some great cameos as well, but the film gets irritating at times. Some scenes worked really well, while others felt completely out of place making most jokes either hit or miss.

If you haven’t seen Knocked Up it really doesn’t matter because the film works independently from that one since we only follow a few supporting characters from that movie. The story takes place a few years after the events of the previous movie focusing on the lives of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), a middle class married couple living in California with their two daughters: Sadie (Maude Apatow) and Charlotte (Iris Apatow). When the film begins Debbie is turning 40 and she is having trouble accepting her age, while Pete doesn’t think it`s a big deal. Debbie doesn’t want a party, she passes the day with her family while they plan Pete`s party which will be in a few days as well. The plot is pretty simple as it follows their everyday ordinary lives and the problems they face. Pete`s routine revolves around riding his bike and working at his independent record company, while Debbie works out with her trainer Jason (Jason Segel) and owns a clothing store. Both Pete and Debbie are going through some financial issues as the record company is having trouble selling and someone has stolen 12000 dollars from the store. Debbie suspects it`s Desi (Megan Fox), but doesn’t want to say anything because she is her best saleswoman. Jodi (Charlyne Yi) also works in the store and blames Desi. Due to their financial troubles, Debbie asks Pete to stop helping out his father, Larry (Albert Brooks), but he can`t help it. Pete and Debbie must find a way to adapt to their midlife crisis before their entire family and marriage collapses. 

Despite playing really spoiled and unlikeable characters, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, manage to give very strong and likeable performances. The supporting cast was also pretty strong with some very funny scenes between them and Albert Brooks. There is also a great scene involving Melissa McCarthy which I thought was the highlight of the movie. Leslie Mann gave one of her best performances and she must have enjoyed working alongside her husband Judd and two daughters. Their performance wasn’t really strong and at times it felt that they were reading off scrip cards, but I didn’t have a major problem with it. The story felt real and authentic, but I just couldn’t sympathize with these spoiled characters. The comedy has its moments, but it is just too little in such an overlong and difficult to bear story. I wouldn’t say that Apatow has lost his touch, but this film is probably his weakest effort to date. Everyone can have a strike or a miss; hopefully he will come back with another home run, but in order to do so he needs to bring something new and original back to the genre instead of remaking his films over again. We do have to appreciate the honesty he brings to his films, and that is why he has had such a successful career.

2 comentarios:

  1. Nice review Esteban. The movie did have its funny parts that got me to laugh and I liked most of the acting, but I couldn't connect to this movie and I was also kind of bored near the end.

  2. Thanks Dan!!! Agreed the film has serious pacing problems...too overlong