Posted by Alia Haddad on November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
So many big movies came out on Christmas–okay, maybe only two came out but still both Django Unchained and Les Miserables were huge films–that all the others got lost in the bustle. One such film was Judd Apatow’s loosely-based follow-up to Knocked Up, This is 40. And it seems like I wasn’t the only one to lose sight of the reality-light, feel-good-kinda comedy. When I finally got around to seeing it this past Saturday at a matinee showing when the sun was still out, the theater was packed. Seriously, there was barely an empty seat in the house. And did I mention, that the precious sun was sill out?!
Well thank God it was packed. A packed theater gave This is 40 what it really needed to be successful: a sense of comradery. Rather, a filled theater not only gave me someone to laugh with and someone to cry with (and for some reason of which I still don’t know, I ended up crying a lot), but it also made the rather long run-time of two hours and 13 minutes for a relationship comedy (bold choice, Apatow) move rather quickly. I’m not sure I would have felt the same way about the movie sitting at home watching This is 40 by myself. But watching it with a packed theater of people eager to be entertained made me really enjoy it.
Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying that This is 40, which follows a married-with-children couple as they both embark on that scary title age, is a great movie that will give Les Miserables or Zero Dark Thirty a run for their Oscar money, but rather that it achieved exactly what it set out to do and, more importantly, what I hoped it would do. You go to This is 40 to be entertained, and that I was completely.
Staring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in title roles, Apatow and Mann’s own children, and Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi, Jason Segel, Albert Brooks, and John Lithgow as supporting characters, This is 40 contained a lot of chemistry between characters that is a clear make-it or break-it quality in movies tackling the similar subjects. More importantly, each character was incredibly likeable. There was no real villain, just people who had issues. While you may point to this as being simple, it really wasn’t I don’t think. Apatow excelled in presenting complex people, but people that were ultimately good. That’s as heartwarming as it gets.