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Rated R for strong language, crude humor, drug use and sexual content
posted Dec 31, 2012 - 1:14:06pm
Judd Apatow has written and produced a few stinkers in the past, but it would seem that he always saves his best work for himself to direct, and This is 40 might be his best to date.
The film's tagline, “The sort-of sequel to Knocked Up,” perfectly describes the newest slice-of-life Apatow film, which could be the funniest movie of 2012. Sure, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s such an enjoyable, well-done little movie that it’s hard not to give it such strong praise. Leads Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann share amazing on-screen chemistry and do the very most with the brilliant dialogue they are given. In fact, everyone in the film does a terrific job.
This film is made up of a series of moments rather than pure plot: There is no great conflict that the characters have to overcome and no real predominate act structure to be found. It’s just about watching the protagonists deal with life, and while they certainly have a very interesting week, everything they deal with serves to make a connection with the audience. It’s hectic and scrambled in its plot, but this apparent lack of direction gives everyone in the audience something with which to identify.
This is 40 is a little rough around the edges, sure, but that’s what gives the film its heart. And that's not to mention that Mann and Rudd are so great together you can’t help but love them both, especially with how absolutely hilarious they are. Their characters are so well fleshed-out and so realistic that they become a microcosm for relationships, a sort of "everycouple."
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
It’s certainly not the typical Hollywood message, and it's not presented in the glitzy, glamorous Hollywood way. That's pretty refreshing to see.
This is 40 is absolutely hilarious. It’s a very dialogue-driven movie, and all the actors deliver their lines with such ease that it never feels forced. Even Mann and Rudd’s children, Maude and Iris Apatow (I guess it really is important who you know in show business), play their parts with a natural flow. Both seem to have inherited their father’s sense of humor, and they are very at-ease in front of the camera. (It probably helps to have their mom in most of the scenes with them.)
This is 40 is the best type of film for the stressful holiday season, one that I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone looking for a feel-good escape from the usual stress. I’ll have to take the time to look back over all the movies that have come out, but my knee-jerk reaction is that Apatow's newest and best movie is one of the 10 best films of the year.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 3 stars, 5 popcorn
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for This is 40
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