Judd Apatow’s 2012 comedy This is 40 has all the makings of a bitingly funny film. If you, like me, are in close proximity to the big 40 then many of the films main themes may resonate. A middle age couple managing the everyday stresses of the work, family, life balance and the seemingly impossible task of loving your life. Early on in the film there is a throw away line about the fact that surely by 40 we should have ‘made it’. There is this misconception that the great American Dream – the fabulous job, house, car, holidays, luxury items, trophy wife and adorable kids – should be a right and entitlement.
The reality for Pete and Debbie is that there are financial stresses, fading ambitions, poor communication and viagra. There were moments in the film when I thought that Apatow was going to deal sensitively with some real life issues that face middle age married couples. But for the most part the narrative was self indulgent. The moments of pathos were lost in the silliness and comic routines.
So should you rent it? Maybe….not. This is 40 is about 45 minutes too long. If you want a film about middle age and marriage – see Shawn Levy’s Date Night, the 2010 action comedy starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It was fun and unexpected. Just what you need for a Friday night movie!