When it comes to the R-rated comedies, there are few better than Judd Appatow in how he writes for the underdog in a way that you really want to pull for them by the end of the film. "This is 40" is a look at the lives of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) a few years after the events of "Knocked Up" (2007).
The story starts in the shower as Pete is using a little blue pill to give Debbie a special gift for her 40th birthday but does not
want to admit it. While Pete is also turning 40
around the same time, she refuses to allow any kind of joint birthday
party celebration to happen, and still tries to make everyone claim she
is 38-years old. The independent recording label that Pete created in "Knocked Up" is on the verge of bankruptcy and they have missed the mortgage payment on their amazing house because he keeps lending money to his father, Larry (Albert Brooks).
Debbie's business, a clothing boutique, also is having difficulty,
because one of her employees (Megan Fox or Charlyne Yi) might be stealing from her.
One glaring omission from the film was that even though the family back story for Debbie was given there was no mention of her sister Alison (Katherine Heigl) from "Knocked Up". Instead the story introduces John Lithgow as the biological father that Debbie has only seen a couple of times since she was a child. Additionally, the film is lacking a structure as too frequently it jumps from sequence to sequence just to try for a laugh. The ultimate conclusion for Pete and Debbie is terrible as they realize that it isn't each other that are causing their unhappiness, but instead everyone else. It is this shallow revelation combined with the extravagant spending at resorts and catered parties that hurts the film. I can't help but feel that the film is really just an attempt by Judd Appatow and Leslie Mann to put their children (Maude and Iris) in a movie.
After reading this review I ask that all of you stop looking at me with those slow blinking eyes. I know what you are thinking and while this isn't the best film, but it is still entertaining even with its absent minded plot. The result is a generous 3 Quacks, but I encourage people to look for the DVD in a couple months as I am sure the deleted scenes will be worth the wait.