This is Soporific.
Writer-director Judd Apatow’s “sorta sequel to KNOCKED UP” is sorta not as good as KNOCKED UP. THIS IS 40 shows us how boringly randomly arbitrarily mundane and unnecessarily complex life over 40 becomes. Like anyone under 40 will care, and like anyone over 40 will care less.
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (Apatow’s real life wife) play married couple Pete and Debbie, dying of boredom. Actually, I’m not sure they’re meant to be dying of boredom, I think that’s just how marriage looks. Once again, Apatow’s and Mann’s two real life daughters (Maude and Iris Apatow) play Mann’s onscreen kids.
Pete is desperately trying to keep his indie record company afloat with nostalgia, and Debbie is trying to keep her fashion store fashionable by having Megan Fox work there with no panties.
Jason Segel is a fitness trainer putting the moves on Debbie (as he suavely did in KNOCKED UP – and we all know that only fitness trainers can get away with some of those intimate touches on a woman’s body disguised as “training”); Albert Brooks is actually funny as Pete’s frazzled father, who is siphoning money from Pete’s family to support his own young brood of adoptees; Melissa McCarthy is a raving mom of a kid who looks like Tom Petty; and Graham Parker (aging 60’s rocker) plays an aging 60’s rocker.
A few years ago, I read a reviewer waiting with bated breath for the talented Paul Rudd’s ascension to leading man status. I’m sure that reviewer is turning blue by now. Rudd can definitely hold a movie as leading man; trouble is, the lead role choices that he and his agent make are watery: OUR IDIOT BROTHER, I LOVE YOU, MAN, and now THIS IS 40. Though they all have their moments, these movies are in no danger of being hailed as classic cinema.
It’s movies like this that make us believe LOGAN’S RUN had a seriously good point. Because if Pete and Debbie’s moribund attempts at rekindling their lust, revamping their professional lives, or disciplining their children reads as so dull and pathetic, Big Brother needs to step in and either wipe out everyone over 30 or outlaw marriage.
Or – maybe like a dull band that was once vital – do we just need to outlaw Judd Apatow?