Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks
Directed by Judd Apatow
Run Time: 134 mins
Opens December 21st
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
There comes in time in every adults life when you realize that the candles on your cake keep increasing, your body starts going through the next phase of change, but your mind hasn’t quite caught up to the age of your body? In Judd Apatow’s latest film, he brings back the gang (some of them) from Knocked Up – the family made up of Pete, Debbie and their girls Charlotte and Sadie a few years older, maybe a little wiser but still trying to figure life and relationships out with a sense of humor.
On the morning of Debbie’s (Leslie Mann) 40th a.k.a. 38th birthday, her husband Pete (Paul Rudd) and daughters Charlotte (Iris Apatow) and Sadie (Maude Apatow) surprise her with cake, breakfast and gifts, but she is in no mood for celebrating. She realizes that now that she’s the big 4-0, everything about their lives has to change – their diets, lifestyle and relationships with each other. Debbie wants to be closer to Pete and the girls, so she limits electronics and internet usage, which send Sadie into a tails spin. Pete’s birthday is a few days later, which a massive birthday party is in the works, which he is thrilled about.
In their daily lives, Pete runs a small record label, and Debbie owns a small boutique, both which are struggling financially. Their accountant informs Pete that they need to sell their house if they want to get back on their feet. With the businesses struggling and Pete giving money to his unemployed father, bills are being not paid or severely late. Pete tries hiding this from Debbie because he has a plan – in a last ditch effort, he will promote his latest client’s new album, and if they sell at least 625,000 copies they will be fine financially.
With all the pressures of business, the kids, family and friends Pete and Debbie take a quick overnight trip to Laguna to unwind and reconnect. The trip was exactly what they needed, but upon arriving home, the problems multiplied quickly with no clear solution in sight. When Debbie ends up pregnant, their relationship is in a fragile state and with all the mounting problems in other areas of their lives, can Debbie and Pete keep it together or will they be starting their 40’s as divorcees?
For those thinking that this is going to be a sequel to the 2007 hit “Knocked Up”, you’re kinda right. This film is more like an offshoot or character study of the family from “Knocked Up”. Apatow shines light on the next phase of aging – middle age and does it with a sense of humor and a strong dose of honesty. For those approaching 40 or those who are past that age mile marker, this film and the character’s journey may be more relatable than a Judd Apatow fan thinking this is going to be like "Knocked Up" or "40 Year Old Virgin". In typical Apatow fashion, it’s full of awkward moments, bodily humor, some drug use and runs about 30 minutes too long. The cameos were fantastic; watch for music legend Graham Parker, John Lithgow, Lena Dunham, Michael Ian Black, Chris O’Dowd and the always fabulous Melissa McCarthy. Check out “This is 40” when it opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday December 21, 2012.