Entries in This Is 40 (3)


"Jack Reacher," "This Is 40" Open Friday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Earlier this week, The Guilt Trip and Monsters, Inc. 3D opened in theaters.  Two more films make their debut on Friday. 

Here’s a closer look:

-- Jack Reacher: Tom Cruise is the title character, an ex-Army investigator who becomes involved in the case of a former military sniper suspected in a shooting attack.  Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall and Richard Jenkins also star.  Rated PG-13.

-- This Is 40: In this semi-sequel to Knocked Up, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles of a husband and wife, now navigating life as a middle-age couple.  Megan Fox, Albert Brooks and Chris O'Dowd also star in the Judd Apatow-directed comedy.  Rated R.  [Click here to read a review]

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: "This Is 40"

Universal(NEW YORK) -- It’s the sequel we never asked for, regarding two characters we didn’t really care much about, even when we saw and liked Knocked Up.  At least, we didn’t care enough to see an entire movie based on them.
Welcome to This Is 40, starring the talented, affable, entertaining and funny Paul Rudd and writer/director Judd Apatow’s talented, affable, entertaining and funny wife, Leslie Mann.  Also starring in This Is 40 are Apatow’s funny, talented and affable children, Maude and Iris Apatow, who play Rudd and Mann’s daughters. In other words, this is a movie Judd Apatow gets to make because he’s Judd Apatow, and because of his track record as a purveyor of successful comedies he can pretty much produce whatever and employ whomever he wants.  As a fan, I’m cool with that -- but not enough to give him a free pass.
Rudd and Mann are Pete and Debbie. Both are about to turn 40 but one of them is in denial. I’ll give you a hint:  it’s Debbie. Even though Pete and Debbie's birthdays occur the same week, they’re only celebrating Pete’s because Debbie wants everybody to think she’s 38.  By the way, Debbie and Pete are loaded -- or at least, that's what we’re led to believe, since Pete owns his own record label and Debbie owns a clothing boutique that employs Megan Fox, or a character played by Megan Fox.  Either way, she looks like Megan Fox, so everybody wins.
Pete and Debbie also are struggling a bit with their marriage, something that's perfectly relatable if you're married or have been in a long relationship.  Whether it’s financial issues, sex, boredom, kids, dishonesty or all of the above, Apatow’s brand of blunt and perverse humor with a heart will ring true for many, and that’s when This Is 40 is at its best.  Its at its worst when it asks the average movie audience to have empathy for what essentially amounts to rich people's problems, especially given the screen time it takes to resolve those problems.  A more accurate title might be This Is 40...Minutes Too Long.
While we might appreciate Pete’s struggle to keep his record company afloat, it’s hard to have empathy for a guy who drives a fancy car, who's married to a wife who drives a fancy car, who lives in a house in Beverly Hills with a kid who complains about not being able to watch Lost on her iPad (although her obsession with Lost is one of the film’s best jokes).  Maybe Apatow thinks we’ll identify with the humanity in Pete and Debbie’s issues and not be put off by their obvious affluence, but Apatow’s most successful movies have included characters who were relatable and quirky on every level.  And as likeable as Pete, Debbie and their kids are, they're also superficial and cloying.
While This Is 40 is enjoyable and amusing, it's also a bit disappointing.  A common piece of advice to writers is “write what you know,” and clearly some of this movie is gleaned from Apatow’s life, but that life puts this story out of touch with the average person.  That’s not going to stop you from laughing heartily at the movie's strongest and universally relatable bits -- in particular Pete and Debbie’s taboo but truthful feelings about each other, and Debbie’s willingness to do whatever it takes to protect her daughter. It will, however, prevent you from thinking that This Is 40 is one of Apatow’s better movies.  And it doesn’t help that those strong, relatable bits only come about once every 20 minutes.
Three-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


No Plans to Remove Child Murder Jokes from "This Is 40"

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Judd Apatow has a few jokes in the script for his new comedy, This Is 40, that is calling attention to in light of last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six staff members were killed.

The scene involves Albert Brooks' character, Larry, who is looking for ways to save cash. 

As Larry gets ready to spray his triplets with a hose, he says, "Line up!  Line up for murder!  Come on!  Who wants to be killed?" 

One of the kids says, "I do!" 

Larry responds, "Okay, we're eliminating one, we're cheaper already," and then Larry sprays water at the child. 

Then another child says, "Murder me!" 

Larry responds, "Boom, dead.  You're dead," adding, "All right, the kids are murdered.  That will save us some money."

Apatow notes to TMZ that the script for the film was written two years ago -- long before the tragic events that unfolded in Connecticut.

Apatow also tells the website that the scene "is spoken by a sarcastic father kidding with his children.  In light of recent events, I understand if some people might make an unfortunate association or put it in a context in which it was not intended."

However, there are no plans to remove the lines from the film before it opens on Friday, according to TMZ.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio