Taking the good with the bad

This is 40 Universal Rating: 14A 134 minutes

Movies involving writer/director Judd Apatow usually feature good humour and bad taste and This is 40, billed as a continuation of Knocked-Up, is pretty typical of his films.

Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd play the couple, both celebrating their 40th birthday and having difficulty accepting that milestone. Their marriage, despite having two lovely daughters, seesaws between great and terrible. A big part of the problem is that they are living a life of conspicuous consumption (big house, holidays, lavish parties, nice cars, etc.) while their financial situation is precarious. And they seem to have more self-doubts than normal.

When you get right down to it, they are not that happy, but make a go of it, despite all the usual problems with family and in-laws. Albert Brooks plays Rudd’s father, who is always mooching money off him, while Mann’s father, played by John Lithgow, is a successful surgeon, but not close to the family. Megan Fox plays a sexy saleslady in Mann’s store while Melissa McCarthy plays a nasty, foul-mouthed mother of the boy one of the daughters is interested in (stay for the credits when she really gets going).

Incidentally, Mann is Apatow’s wife in real life, and the daughters, Maude and Iris, are the real Apatow daughters too.

If you don’t mind the bathroom crudity and juvenile humour, and the overlength, this is a pleasant enough comedy drama if you take the good with the bad. It won’t win any awards, but is entertaining in the Apatow way.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.