‘This is 40′: Quite forgettable

Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd star in “This Is 40.”

Judd Apatow has built a career on characters enduring a quest for maturity. And it seems with his most recent features, the director himself has been on that same journey. But in chasing a superlative like “his most mature work to date,” which some critics will no doubt be fooled into praising this film as, the director demonstrates that he still doesn’t really understand what being a grown-up is all about.

What’s good about Apatow is his sense of balance, portraying characters dealing with real life issues, who are able to still have humor in their lives. With “This Is 40″ there are hearty helpings of humor, but the cutting sense of “realism” Apatow tries to achieve is hardly realistic. Simply put, Judd Apatow’s sense of reality is very different from that of most of the people who will be watching this film.

The main characters of “This Is 40,” Pete and Debbie, were introduced to audiences as supporting roles in “Knocked Up,” who in their brief screen time had a relatable affability about them. But when we are given more than a glimpse into their lives here, there  isn’t much more to them. Pete (Paul Rudd) runs a floundering indie record label and Debbie (Leslie Mann) runs a boutique. On the eves of their 40th birthdays they are in the midst of financial crises and early midlife crises (Debbie pretends she’s only turning 38). These difficulties are putting strains on their marriage. This sounds like some heavy stuff, and it is, but it’s hard to feel bad for these characters when they’re driving around in BMWs that they don’t even consider selling. The actors are fine, but as characters Pete and Debbie don’t earn the happy ending that inexplicably wraps everything up.

If you go

   

‘This Is 40’

Director: Judd Apatow

Cast: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks

Rating: R

Grade: 2/5



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…