Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

This Is 40 | Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, John Lithgow | Review

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Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
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This Is 40 | Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, John Lithgow | Review

If you’ve got an appetite for Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Funny People) the writer/producer/director of this film, you’ll no doubt find the pseudo mid-life crises of Brentwood folk Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) a laugh-riot conglomeration of toilet humor, crude jokes, and smartass one liners.  If you groan when you hear that it’s an Apatow production, be prepared for 134 minutes of that sound.

Rudd and Mann last appeared in 2007’s Knocked Up, the film that put Apatow on the cinematic map for better or for worse.  Now Pete and Debbie are fast approaching 40, like, next week, and angst fills their fancy Brentwood home, the one they share with two daughters (Maude and Iris Apatow).  It’s a real family affair; Mann is Apatow’s wife.

Pete’s independent record label is failing.  Someone is embezzling money from Debbie’s boutique.  The two have a love/hate relationship and vague memories of sex and happiness.  Fights are frequent.

Add to this Debbie’s two sales clerks (Megan Fox and Charlyne Yi) Pete’s mooch of a dad (Albert Brooks), Debbie’s personal trainer (Jason Segal) and her distant, almost sperm donor father (John Lithgow) and you have the makings of all sorts of crass, embarrassing situations that illustrate that the human animal did indeed ascend from the apes.

Because Rudd’s character Pete has a record label and Apatow has musical clout, Ryan Adams, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Graham Parker all play themselves, with Parker admitting onscreen that he’s no longer in with the in crowd and that’s just fine with him.

It’s a privileged, bitchy, messy existence for all involved, trying too hard to be funny, or outrageous, or taboo, if such a thing even exists in the present day. Debbie and Pete even verbally assault a young boy and then lie about it.  Hahaha.

Their own daughters are dissatisfied mini-consumers who battle it out amongst themselves while the older of the two curses at her parents when she’s not being sullen.  Marriage and kids – inside one of the seven circles of hell that is suburban L.A.

Paul Rudd is at his crudest.  Leslie Mann seems to play it straight, although that is surely not her intent.  Albert Brooks is a refreshingly clueless, money-sucking in-law and the late arrival of John Lithgow is almost an anti-climax.

There’s over two hours of this stuff, so if it’s your cup o’ tea, drink up.  The rest of us will look forward to spitting out the strange brew.  A better option may be not to take a sip at all.

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