On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

This is 40

2012/ USA

Director: Judd Apatow

Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segal, Annie Mumolo, Robert Smigel, Charlyne Yi, Chris O’Dowd, Graham Parker, Megan Fox

You’ve all seen ‘Knocked Up’ right? You all love the laugh out loud comedy right? Well watch This is 40 and you will enjoy a few more of those laugh out loud moments, just not as many. This is 40 is a good comedy with a fairly accurate portrayal of family life, but lacks a particularly good plot. The thing that gives the film character is the fantastic performances by Paul Rudd as Pete and Leslie Mann as Debbie.

Director Judd Apatow introduces us to the husband and wife five years after ‘Knocked Up’ as they approach the obstacle of turning 40. With all those years of marriage in their belts, they have two daughters’, eight-year-old Charlotte (Iris Apatow) and 13-year-old Sadie (Maude Apatow) and have to struggle to keep their finances in order as Pete’s record label strives to stay afloat.  This is 40 shows us the challenges the couple face in their marriage and in many modern day marriages. We observe Pete and Debbie’s career triumphs and financial hardships, aging turmoil, pregnancy and maturing children. The question is will they battle their way to success or give in to the milestone meltdown?

Iris Apatow gives a superb performance as the couple’s eight-year-old daughter Charlotte as she provides comical one liner’s, while her sister Sadie makes you laugh as she endures her terrible teens. The film conveys truth to most relationships and family lives that we, as an audience, can relate to. There are several moments that genuinely make you laugh, although there does not seem to be a strong story behind this laughter. Megan Fox plays Desi, an employee in Debbie’s clothes store, who is really a minor character that gets far too much screen time than truly necessary, illustrating Judd Apatow’s attempt to gain male viewers. Where in fact Megan Fox has about as much screen chemistry as one of the mannequins in the clothes shop in which she works in the film. Jason Segal also features as Jason, a fitness instructor, who we just cannot take seriously as a “womaniser” yet we have to love his comical involvement along with Chis O’Dowd as Ronnie who works with Pete on his record label. This is 40 does entertain us, does make us laugh and for me is just the right length of viewing time. I would definitely recommend if you are not so set on story lines with a purpose but just love to laugh.


-Becca Darbyshire


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