For his latest film "This Is 40," writer-director Judd Apatow updates the story of two characters from his 2007 movie "Knocked Up." NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following report.
Writer-director Judd Apatow's has taken two supporting characters from his 2007 movie "Knocked Up" and put them right in the spotlight in his latest film, "This Is 40."
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann once again play married couple Pete and Debbie, who are both turning 40. But she is having bigger acceptance issues hitting this milestone.
Pete's record company is on the verge of bankruptcy and he's struggling to keep it afloat. Debbie is trying to forge some sort of relationship with her mainly absentee father, played by John Lithgow. Pete's dad, played by Albert Brooks, keeps hitting up his son for money. Then there are Pete and Debbie's two daughters, one of whom is being bullied on Facebook by a classmate.
There are big issues at hand, but the small moments of married life get just as much attention here.
Mann, Apatow's real-life wife, along with Rudd are terrific actors who elevate the proceedings, as do Brooks and Lithgow. The two kids, are played by Mann and Apatow's actual children and they are fine.
The problem with the film is that it's just not that funny.
The script and disjointed direction make this not really a pleasure to sit through. The laughs aren't quite there and Apatow's glimpse into married life and its intimate conversations, as well as parenthood, are not as revelatory or as humorous as he thinks they are.
I was never fully invested in these characters and the movie feels a lot longer than it actually is.
I am a big fan of Judd Apatow. In fact, his movie "Funny People" was my favorite film of 2009. But I always felt that "Knocked Up" was his weakest endeavor.
Sadly, "This Is 40," which features two of the co-stars of "Knocked Up," is infinitely weaker than is predecessor. There are several amusing scenes, but there's also a lot of lag time in between.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating Scale: 2 Apples