Trailering Judd Apatow's This Is 40: Middle Age Comedy Crisis

Considering its relatively mundane subject matter -- Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's Knocked Up characters, Pete and Debbie, go into mid-life crisis mode when age 40 approaches -- there's a deceptive amount of classic signatures in Judd Apatow's This is 40. Yes, I'm talking about dick jokes. And boners and nipples and vagina tree rings and whatever it is that Rudd is gazing at through a mirror without his pants on. In other words: Comedy gold! Right?

Well, that'll depend on what kind of Apatow you're expecting from This is 40. Suburban married protagonists struggling with parenting and fitness and stuff is much more grounded terrain than Apatow's biggest hits. Not that it's a bad thing that Rudd and Mann's duo seem fairly realistic, considering; they were great foils to Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, though This is 40 seems to mostly follow-up on Debbie's age-insecurity than Pete's hamstrung powerlessness.

We may not see Rogen or Heigl reprise their roles in the "sort-of-sequel," but Jason Segel returns, joined in the supporting cast by Lena Dunham, Megan Fox, Melissa McCarthy, Albert Brooks, Chris O'Dowd, John Lithgow, Annie Mumolo, the blond kid from Super 8, and real life Apatow-Mann daughters Iris and Maude. I'm just hoping Debbie goes back to that club with her new boner-iffic bod and gives Craig Robinson what for.

Verdict: This is... promising, but not a surefire slam dunk. Fingers crossed.

This is 40 hits theaters December 21.


  • Jake says:

    I wish I could say I love Apaptow's stuff, but it's not like I look back at The 40 yr old virgin or Knocked Up with amazing memories of how great those films were. I didn't even end up seeing Funny People. He's such a weird mix of low-brow juvenile comedy and high-brow drama at the same time. And I also feel like his stuff is very LA (I lived there for a long time, so I'm not saying that as some midwesterner or easterner with some "idea" of what LA is like). And that LA'ness is kind of lame sometimes.

    As always, my fingers are crossed on this, but it's not like this trailer makes me say, "I'm there." Anyone else feel the same way?

    • Yeah, although I have never been a Judd Apatow fan. Idk, the dick jokes just don't do it for me... and I like a good dick joke. Full disclosure: I've only seen 1 film he's directed, which was Knocked Up. But he's only directed 3 feature films, so I don't think I'm missing much. But the weird thing about Apatow is that the man himself is just not that funny. I compare him Kevin Smith in the sense that I'm not a fan of Smith's films either, but I've heard him speak at different Q&A's and so forth and he is a really funny guy. I don't get the Apatow hype.

    • Mike the Movie Tyke says:

      Agree. I loved Virgin and Knocked Up was very good but dragged in parts, considering it's supposed to be a great comedy. Apatow movies have a similarity to them that's not a good thing--meandering, never tight and usually too long. And yes, they often seem like the script started as a drama and was rewritten to see how many times "dick" and "vagina" could be squeezed into it. It gets old.

  • Jake says:

    Looking on Deadline and other sites, it's pretty clear that people aren't that excited for this movie. Some are, but a lot aren't. Isn't it interesting how things have changed since Knocked Up came out? At the time, Apatow was the absolute king of American comedy. His brand was the top in the world and he could do no wrong. Now we find his brand to be boring (or at least heading in that direction). I think it just goes to show that comedy truly is the most difficult of all genres to do forever. Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell... I wonder if I would feel the same way about Chris Farley if he had survived.

    Comedy. It's a young man's game.

  • Max Renn says:

    Wow, Leslie Man is playing a vile shrew again. What range.