This Is 40 (2012)

It was very hard to find a still from this film that didn’t feature a half-naked Megan Fox having her breasts felt by Leslie Mann, but I’ve done it for you. You’re thanking me right?

A Judd Apatow comedy and semi-sequel to 2007’s Knocked Up and in a way it’s genius. I genuinely don’t know how you would plan or write something like this? It’s less about set pieces and more about creating realistic yet funny and exaggerated characters and then putting them in situations whcih allow the comedy to flow. On paper the story seems mundane – the film follows Pete (Paul Rudd) and his wife Debbie (Leslie Mann) who are both approaching 40, as they struggle with the ups and downs of parenthood, financial problems and relationship issues. However the apparent ordinariness of the storyline is actually a blessing because it means it’s very easy for us to relate to what’s happening which allows the comedy to be more subtle rather than having to obviously signpost jokes or explain why they’re funny.

It’s rarely laugh-out-loud, I would describe it as lively, subtle and clever. I found that I always had a smile on my face and what I particularly liked was how varied and unformulaic it all was. You can never really predict exactly what’s going to happen next.

Negatives? There’s a risk if this is not your cup of tea that you could find it all slightly irritating, and there are a couple of ‘jokes’ which should have been left on the cutting room floor. Overall though a very good comedy with especially strong performances from the the two leads (Rudd and Mann) and also Maude Apatow (the director’s daughter) is impressive too as Sadie the couple’s stroppy eldest daughter. Worth watching. 8/10

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