My wife pretty much has a love affair with Paul Rudd – which for me means that we are basically guaranteed to go see any of the latest Rudd-fronted movies at the theater. I have no problem with this, especially since I ask her to go with me to every Stallone movie, so it’s only fair, right? And don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy Paul Rudd movies – some of his comedies from the last decade have been some of my favorite (Anchorman, I Love You Man, Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, etc.). So I was fairly excited to see this “sequel” to Knocked Up. Let me just say now – THIS IS NOT Knocked Up!
Not to say that this movie didn’t have its good moments – with most movies from Judd Apatow, you can pretty much rely on him letting the actors enjoy a hefty amount of improv – which audiences tend to either love or hate – I usually go with the former. While I see this as one of the movie’s greatest strengths – it’s also the biggest weakness. Because the actors are allowed to go so far off-script, the movie ends up being shifted away from the plot – so much so that you end up getting lost in trying to figure out what type of movie exactly Apatow was trying to make.
I left the theater feeling like I just saw a movie that had a few funny one-liners and some good improv moments – but overall the movie was edited together in a way that made me feel like I just witnessed an awkward 2-hour long family drama outing where everybody is screaming at each about how miserable they are and they don’t know why. I just couldn’t relate to how all of the characters acted (maybe cause I’m not 40 yet…?) Instead of being a funny movie with childish antics (like most Apatow films), it was just plain childish. Instead of harnessing the poignant, relatable moments of life like Knocked Up was able to achieve, This is 40 takes it too far to the point of making it tedious to watch because it just doesn’t know what type of movie it wants to be – funny comedy or serious melodrama.
Overall, I was disappointed with the end result of this one – you wouldn’t be missing much if you don’t see it.