“Merry Christmas and such from Texas! Made the annual pilgrimmage to the motherland a few days ago, and haven’t had much luck with escaping to the movies. However, on the homefront, I am progressing quite nicely on a Twin Peaks marathon. And I’ve managed to see 2 of my 3 obligatory Christmas movies. Third viewing forthcoming.
Whenever I’m down here, there’s a certain few of my mom’s church friends who usually try to arrange dinner or lunch or somesuch so they can see me. Apparently Boston is a very exotic locale to most of these small towners, so they’re strangely fascinated. One couple called us up saying they wanted to take me and my mom to dinner and a movie. I feared that my must list wouldn’t quite line up with theirs, so I listened as they rattled off suggestions. A few down the list came This is 40. We know I love all things Judd Apatow, but I didn’t wanna suggest this one myself since I thought it might be too raunchy for these conservative Christian comrades. On my way there, I tweeted that I hoped for their sake the film wasn’t too Apatow-ish, but for mine I hoped it was. Thank God it reached that happy medium that he’s been kinda striving for. Plenty of inappropriate humor, but equal amounts of heart. Sorta what Funny People tried to do but failed at.
During some of the early scenes I was kinda squirming in my seat. I couldn’t quite let myself enjoy the clever shock comedy sitting between my mother and our older church-ier friends. But as it went on, I did hear laughter coming from both sides of me. Granted, it may not have been for some of the same things I found funny, but the fact that there was general merriment amongst our group is a good thing.
As someone who’s a ways from 40, I took this as a bit of a cautionary tale (much like I did with Hope Springs earlier this year). I may not be able to relate to the details of it now, but I can certainly file it away form future reference. Still, there was so much to appreciate. Again, Apatow wrote a brilliant screenplay that I’d prolly put on par with his masterpiece 40 Year Old Virgin. Moments were hysterically funny, but you had real characters that were developed and weightier than you’d expect in this branch of the genre.
I absolutely adore Paul Rudd and I likely always will. Yes, he always plays the same sorta good guy character, but he fits it perfectly. And from that stage door meeting outside of Grace a couple months ago, I can tell you that he really is that nice of a guy in person. In this film, he just has this incredible charisma that just carries it. I want to just hang out with this guy. I feel for him and the problems he’s having. I’m jealous of his wife, despite all their drama. Ah yes, his lovely wife played by Judd Apatow’s IRL wife, Leslie Mann. Love her. This girl does comedy so well by not trying too hard. She just embraces whatever situation she’s in and reacts accordingly to hilarious result. She carried as much of the movie as her film hubby did with an appropriately adorkable insecurity.
There were some familiar faces in the supporting crowd. Adore Jason Segel, and could have used more of him. Charlene Yi was a very welcome surprise, as was John Lithgow, Chris O’Dowd, and Lena Dunham. Megan Fox seems to have found a good niche for herself between this and Friends With Kids. Small role, letting the comedy happen around her instead of trying too hard to be sexy or funny. I actually may have liked her instead of being annoyed by her. Win. Oh and there was a wonderful cameo that got me really excited. Just made me sad that I couldn’t quite share the excitement with my companions since they wouldn’t have understood what this particular rock star means to me.
The film felt a little lengthy, but I was with it for the whole ride. Apatow has truly returned to form and I am once again excited to see whatever he does next
This is 40 – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/