If you have seen the 2007 hit Knocked Up, you’d recognize the couple who play the lead in this movie (and not just the actors). This Is 40 was written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow, who also helmed Knocked Up and stars stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who played the supporting roles of Deb & Peter in the previous film. The film follows the lives of middle-aged married couple Pete and Debbie as they each turn 40, with their jobs and daughters adding stress to their relationship. Returning as their daughters are Maude Apatow & Iris Apatow who are now ages 13 & 8 respectively. Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow & Chris O’Dowd also have supporting roles in this comedy.
The movie is a comedic look at the family and especially Peter & Debbie and the changes that happen as you turn 40. Debbie is not happy that Peter used a viagra before they had sex and makes him stop, angered at the fact that they are growing older. They spend a weekend celebrating her 40th birthday, doing things that she wants and also go on a wild weekend to a resort where they get high off of “special cookies”, and fantasize out loud about ways they would kill each other. After speaking to her friends Jason (Jason Segel) and Barb, Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family through exercise, and becoming more connected with their parents. She tries to reconnect with her estranged biological father and invites him out for lunch. Deb makes Peter dump his cupcake habit and tells him to stop giving Peter’s layabout dad Larry (Albert Brooks) money – his dad has another wife and young triplets – and although Pete goes to visit him, he is unsuccessful at giving him the news, and still agrees to give him money to support his lifestyle. Peter’s record label business is suffering and his latest act, veteran rocker Graham Parker, is not making enough sales despite heavy publicity and support from Green Day’s Billy Joel Armstrong. Debbie than finds out that she is pregnant.
Suspecting that Desi (Megan Fox) one of her employees is stealing from her boutique shop, Deb takes her out to a nightclub planning to confront her with her suspicions. Debbie and Desi meet several players from the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team at the club. Debbie awkwardly finds out that one of the players wants to hang out with her and possibly sleep with her. She is proud that he wants to have sex with her, but admits that she is married, has two kids, and is pregnant. Afterwards, Debbie drops Desi off at her house, and confronts her about the money, saying she’s been taking money to buy drugs. Desi reveals she is able to afford nice things because she is also an escort. Later, Debbie meets up with Jodi, who confesses that she stole the money to buy Oxycontin. Debbie fires her and leaves. Meanwhile, Pete and Debbie are having to deal with Sadie and Charlotte fighting all the time, which results in arguments between the family. There’s a whole little subplot about the two kids and watching Lost and the fights between the girls are funny. As this goes on Deb’s & Peter’s relationship starts going a bit sour.
On Pete’s 40th birthday party, he argues with his dad about the money he wants from them. Debbie argues with her dad about not spending too much time in her life, and how his is perfect. Oliver then explains that his life is not perfect, and how he has always cared about her and loved her. Later, Pete overhears Debbie talking about her pregnancy, and rides out of the house on his bicycle in anger. Larry & Deb go in search of him and find Pete getting knocked out in a fight with a car owner who crashed his door against Pete. Debbie and Larry take Pete to the hospital, where Larry apologizes for everything, and Debbie forgives him. Debbie and Pete talk later and Pete explains that he is actually thrilled about having a third baby, and that he doesn’t feel trapped, so the two reconcile. Sometime later, Pete and Debbie are watching a small concert with Ryan Adams performing. Debbie then suggests that Pete should sign him to his label and plan to talk to him as they finish watching the show.
The movie is a bit too long and goes aimlessly in some places. It’s not as funny where it should be and I feel the focus should have been more on the two of them with their daughters. It does offer some funny moments that will tickle your funny bone. But I don’t understand why a father would chose to sit in the toilet without locking the doors – Debbie walks in on him twice in the movie! 7 outta 10!