Sunday, October 24, 2021


December 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 is a comedy about mid-life crisis that’s getting middlin’ reviews. It stars Apatow’s real-life wife, Leslie Mann, and features their two daughters. Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune acknowledges that the film displays Apatow’s “growing sense of fluidity and craft,” but he goes on to ask, “So why is the film a bit flat? It’s an attempt at a more bruising brand of comedy than he has tried in the past,” but yet, he suggests, Apatow winds up pulling his punches. “Why make a movie like This is 40 if you can’t go all the way?” Similarly, Joe Neumaier writes in the New York Daily News, “There’s a funny movie scratching at the edges of “This is 40.” Unfortunately … every time that funny movie starts to emerge, Apatow tramples it with scenes of domestic irritation.” But the Associated Press’s Christy Lemire gives Apatow an A for effort. “Within that affectionately messy sprawl lies a maturation, an effort to convey something deeper, more personal and more substantive,” she writes. Nevertheless, Claudia Puig in USA Today observes that while This Is 40 might well be Apatow’s “least consistently funny movie,” nevertheless “even an inconsistent comedy by Apatow is better than most.” And A.O. Scott of the New York Times is also willing to overlook most of the film’s shortcomings. The movie, he writes, “snuggles up next to you, breathes in your face, dribbles crumbs on your shirt and laughs at its own jokes. Such proximity makes it easy to notice flaws, and there are a lot of loose ends and a few forced conclusions. But, then again, the acceptance of imperfection is Mr. Apatow’s theme, so a degree of sloppiness is to be expected. That’s life.”