Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

This Is 40 - This Stinks - Review


thisis40poster.jpgI have been battling a cold/flu bug for a few weeks, and any time I start to laugh, it transforms into a painful coughing fit.  It might not be the best physical condition to watch a comedy, but This Is 40 didn't make me cough once. 

Leslie Mann stars as Debbie - a woman turning 40-years old who does not want to admit it.  While her husband, Pete (Paul Rudd), is turning 40 around the same time, she refuses to allow any kind of joint birthday party celebration to happen, and still tries to make everyone claim she is 38-years old.

Of course, as the two approach the big 4-0, life isn't as idyllic as they would have hoped for.  Pete's business, an independent record label, is on the verge of collapse and their finances are in danger because he keeps lending money to his father, Larry (Albert Brooks).  Debbie's business, a cute clothing boutique, also is having difficulty, because one of her employees might be stealing from her.

Can Pete and Debbie get it all worked out, or will their troubles bring the marriage to an end?

This Is 40 is nothing.  Writer/director Judd Apatow doesn't have a theme or a plot in mind to drive the movie.  The audience is left to wander from contrived controversy to predictable conflict without any laughs to make it all go down smoother.  The movie lacks any kind of structure to justify its existence.   

Absent interesting dialogue and scenarios, Apatow tries much too hard to make the discussions risqué or "real" with "frank" discussions about bodies, health, sex and everything else normal people avoid talking about.  It's not revelatory.  It's revolting.  thisis40UNIVERSAL.jpg 

Then, we are stuck watching very familiar and tired material even the most pathetic of TV sitcoms avoid as the married couple finds it difficult to have sex with kids in the house, they are undergoing all sorts of medical tests you hate but find necessary over 40, they mock therapy talk, people struggle to keep to a diet to be healthier and more.  I think almost every one of these subjects was covered by Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show in the 80's.  It's all recycled garbage leaving the actors to do anything they can to make it interesting, but that's a lost cause.  

This Is 40 gets worse and worse as it gets longer and less funny, and it makes you wonder if Apatow was so deep into it all he couldn't find a way out.


½ Waffle (Out of 4)

This Is 40 is rated R for sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug material