This is 40 - Film Review

First let me stress that every single film that I see which stars Paul Rudd I am accompanied by a wife who considers Rudd to be husband #2. I get that. He's utterly charming, hilarious and quite handsome to boot. That said, I am in no way swayed in my opinions due to apparently sharing a wife with Paul Rudd. My opinions are my own.

This is 40 is very much a sequel to Judd Apatow's earlier box office success, Knocked Up. However, instead of following the exploits of Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl (undoubtedly due to Heigl's now infamous claims of sexism from Apatow), the film follows Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) and their two daughters who are both played by Apatow and Mann's real-life kids.

Pete and Debbie's lives are in a rut. He has a struggling business and mounting debt while she struggles with deep seeded insecurities from childhood trauma but in classic Apatow fashion, hilarity ensues.

Apatow seems to be a very loyal filmmaker, recycling previous cast members and this film is case in point. Apatow seems to relish in subjecting his cast/friends to all forms of awkward and uncomfortable situations for the viewing pleasure of the audience. This is 40 if full of these kind of moments, the kind that have the audience in hysterics. Thankfully for him, he seems to have a cast who are more than willing to check their ego at the door and bare their shame, even that of his wife Leslie.

Speaking of the cast, Rudd is Rudd. He has played the same character in nearly every film I've seen him in, luckily however, that character is every bit as goofy and lovable as ever. Mann too plays a very similar character to previous films albeit not quite as wild as in Knocked Up. Add to that a supporting cast including The IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd, The Muppets' Jason Segel and the legendary John Lithgow and you've got a cast of players that are every bit as engaging in an ensemble as they are on their own. Throw Albert Brooks into the mix and you have comedy pie of the tastiest kind. The absolute shining star of the film, however, is Melissa McCarthy. In what is undoubtedly the funniest scene in the entire film, McCarthy shows that she is a force to be reckoned with and far more funny than Mike and Molly would have you believe.

This is a film with more heart than one might expect from the makers of 40 Year Old Virgin although doesn't try so hard or feel as laborious as Funny People. It relishes in the normality of every day struggles and shines a light on the saving grace of any good relationship - the love of your partner. It shows that relationships can be hard, but they can also be more rewarding than we sometimes give them credit for. Although touted as a "sorta sequel" to Knocked Up, it far surpasses its predecessor on every level. 

This is 40 opens nationwide on Thursday.

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