I had the chance to catch a screening last week of This is 40, the new comedy starring Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, written and directed by Judd Apatow. Catching up on a married couple we first met in Knocked Up, This is 40 is the sort of sequel, and a totally different movie.
Leslie Mann plays Debbie, mother of two and boutique owner, who refuses to admit she’s turning 40. Paul Rudd plays Pete, slacker father and failing record label owner. The couple love each other, but in a real way, full of fights, discussions, resentment, passive aggression, and in every other achingly normal way.
Debbie runs a boutique staffed with hip, beautiful girls, a constant reminder of her fading youth. Pete doesn’t know how to tell his family that they are going to lose everything if his business doesn’t start succeeding. Each are trying to recapture how they felt as young adults in different ways: ever conscious of their aging, dealing with squabbling children, and unreliable extended families. How Debbie and Pete manage parenthood and their own problems is filled with pathos, dead-on comedy, and laugh-out-loud hilarity.
Above all, This is 40 feels real. The laughter, the problems, the fighting, the kids fighting; it’s just so well done. From the times you have to deal with other parents, to teenagers in school. There are moment of true tenderness, as when Debbie crawls in bed with her youngest child, Leslie’s real life daughter with Judd Apatow, Iris, that even made me tear up.
I laughed so hard because This is 40 felt ripped from the pages of my own life. After the screening I texted my friends, telling them they needed to watch it as soon as possible, which is what I’m telling you. If you need some comedy right now, and who doesn’t, I recommend This is 40 . It opens Friday, December 21st. Rated “R” for language, situations, and for being awesome.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our interview with Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, and Judd Apatow!
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