Monday, March 11, 2013

This Is 40

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can go sit around and eat ice cream and complain about how we're getting old.




This Is 40 – 3 out of 5

Judd Apatow is back to make another movie that only has a single good half. And this time it’s the “sort of” sequel to Knocked Up—You know, the movie that’s moral is that if you are a fat stoner who somehow gets to nail and impregnate a woman way too out of your league she will settle and somehow find the strength to stay with you…and you’ll learn to be a better person and grow up and all will be right in the world.

His insistence on doing the famous Rush Hour line whenever she touches his
radio has lost some of its glamour over the years.


This Is 40 sees the characters of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from Knocked Up battle their approaching age with snarky jokes. Pete is trying to juggle money troubles thanks to his record label he started that’s hemorrhaging money and the fact he keeps lending money to his father (Albert Brooks) while Debbie is in full-on denial of her approaching four-oh and has to deal with the reality that one of her employees at her clothing shop may be stealing money from her (played by Megan Fox in one of her less greasy, orange tan-looking appearances). Things become even more complicated as their children (played by Apatow and Mann’s real-life children) continue to age and grow up (damn them!) and Debbie ends up discovering a big surprise that goes beyond the money troubles.


And then the movie because Premium Rush for no reason.


Overall, This Is 40 isn’t a terrible movie and it actually gets better as the film goes. When it first starts, the movie is just a collection of “I’m getting old” jokes that includes wayyyyyy tooooo many gags about women lying about their age (however, aging night club comedians found these jokes hilarious but were disappointed when there wasn’t any airline food jokes). These jokes weren’t terrible and didn’t induce any groans from me but they weren't creating any laughter either since they are older than that the last living man who finds them amusing and refreshing (Note: that man currently resides in a nursing home in Arizona and is 98 years young!).


"I don't want to come out because I have reached a socially-created age of some
concern."


As the film progresses and the cliché jokes about “women being scared of getting old” finally starts to peel away and the real heart of the story shows itself alongside some actual comedy that made me really laugh. Coincidentally, this refreshing change occurs just a little before Melissa McCarthy makes her appearance in the film and if you don’t think McCarthy is funny than I don’t want to know you…or you’re Rex Reed. I retract my statement, if you don’t like McCarthy and you’re not Rex Reed than I would like to know you because chances are you’re not an asshat who calls McCarthy a hippo for the sole sake of trying to make himself relevant after years and years of no one giving a shit who you were. In case you are wondering who you are Rex Reed, you’re a hack movie critic with a face that was genetically programmed to be magnetically attracted to fists.


Rex Reed shouldn't talk shit about McCarthy because she can burn things with her
mind...which she's about to do in this pic.



Billie Joe Armstrong's appearance in this film is the least
embarrasing thing he's done in awhile.
 Once the film hits its stride (about halfway through) the film becomes less of a cheap comedy and ends up being a comedy with some heart to it. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann really come off as a married couple and their arguments and subsequent forgiveness looks less like two actors pretending to be a married couple and more like an actual couple who have been together long enough that they know how to push each other’s buttons and they’ve lost their fingerprints from over-pushing the damn thing. Once the movie gets passed its weak opening, the film hits its charming, sweet and funny stride and quickly becomes a fun movie to watch.


You're always going to be Nemo's dad now to me, Brooks.


Granted the film still has its drawbacks other than the slow open. For example, a major plot point connected to Pete and Debbie’s money problems goes unresolved and you have to deal with Megan Fox being in the movie and have to endure her attempts at acting. As if to either make his art close to real-life or maybe it’s just in Fox’s contract, her character comes off as a person who could probably give you an STD just by looking at her (or basically no different than the shallow grease-doused person she plays in nearly every movie she’s in—even the Transformers films because you know she was trying to get a bit of Optimus’ dipstick until Michael Bay had to explain to her that he was completely CGI. I fear for how she’ll skank it up in Bay’s unholy reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).


The only reason she gets roles...and just looking at this picture it now hurts when I pee.


"How do you walk with that thing?!"
 However, Fox and her inability to play a character that isn’t an object to take home from a drunk night at the bar and immediately get your ass to the free clinic for testing the next day aside, some great actors come in and save the film with some really humorous moments. I already mentioned Melissa McCarthy but John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Robert Smigel and Chris O’Dowd all are involved in this film bringing their own unique form of humor to various scenes and quickly stops the film from being the “woman hate getting old” jokes for an hour and a half. Robert Smigel really deserves mention because even though he wasn’t a predominate character in the film he did have some of the funniest moments for me.


"Mr. Lithgow, your show Third Rock was great...FOR ME TO POOP ON!!
Oh, I guess it only works when I have the puppet."



This Is 40 isn’t Apatow’s best work but Apatow hasn’t had much great work since The 40 Year Old Virgin. His comedies tend to get repetitive and cookie-cutter in their presentation and This Is 40 had all the potential to be that. However, after a rocky start, the film hits its momentum and becomes a decent comedy as it works itself away from the predictable punch lines and jokes. It still isn’t a stellar comedy that I will come back to in the near future but it was still good enough that there’s potential for a repeat viewing somewhere down the line.

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