Growing old is something most everyone has to deal with and the aging process is put on hilarious display in Judd Apatow's latest film, "This is 40."
Nothing has really changed since we last saw Pete and Debbie, played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, in 2007's "Knocked Up." They're still having marital troubles and trying to control their daughters. The only thing that's changing is that they're growing older, which Debbie is having an increasingly difficult time dealing with. But together, Pete and Debbie may have an opportunity to rediscover not only each other, but the reason they got together in the first place.
"This is 40" works mainly because of the very relatable script that Apatow has written. Even though I'm still more than a decade away from turning 40, there were still aspects of the movie that I could relate to: uncertainty about your future, missed opportunities and envy of those who have it better. But despite the pressures of aging the characters feel, there's a hopefulness to the movie that suggests the best years of our lives, and the lives of the characters, are still ahead of us. It's like the saying goes: You're only as old as you feel.
While Rudd and Mann turn in good performances, the real showstoppers here are Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, and yes, Megan Fox. Brooks and Lithgow couldn't be more different as the fathers to Rudd and Mann, respectively. Through them, we get a glimpse of what gave Pete and Debbie their character traits and personality flaws. It's inspired casting. Fox is very surprising as an employee at Debbie's clothing boutique. While a lot of people know her mainly as the brunette sex symbol, she's able to display a bit more of her acting chops. She's funny in addition to being easy on the eyes.
Apatow has a wonderful ability for not only being funny, but also using his humor to showcase a variety of situations that will be relatable to most viewers. Fights, friends, love, children and aging are all on display here for better or for worse.
Despite the movie's two hour-plus length, the time goes fast as you go along for the ride. It does meander a bit, taking it's time to get from plot point to plot point, but like life itself, it's the journey that matters, not the destination.
Scott Viau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.