I watched Judd Apatow’s movie This is 40 on DVD. I almost didn’t see it because of its relatively bad reviews, but I’m glad I did. Apatow’s work entertains the crap out of me, and 40 provided plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
It’s may be true that the “story” part of the movie is thin. The movie doesn’t really have a central conflict. Rather, the movie just shows the lot of little conflicts a struggling middle (or upper-middle; more on this in a bit) class family dealing with money, sex, in-laws, and adolescent children in the age of Facebook. Apatow cast his real-life wife (Leslie Mann) and children (who performed surprisingly well) opposite Paul Rudd. Several of Apatow’s protégés make appearances, as does Megan Fox.
Rudd’s character owns and operates an independent recording label, and tries valiantly to market classic rock in a hip-hip age. Mann owns and operates a clothing boutique, where one of her employees has stolen $12K worth of merchandise. One of the in-laws has mooched $80K over the last two years. All this feeds the money troubles.
Yet they still decide to have their 40th birthday party catered. Really? I’ve had exactly one event catered: my wedding. But other than weddings, I’m not sure I’ve even attended a private catered event, let alone threw one myself. The concept boggles the mind. It further boggles the mind that a family feeling a money crunch would not make this the first expenditure to unload.
Apatow’s movies feature copious and florid profanity, and 40 is no exception. At some threshold, this bothers me, but in Apatow’s hands it’s amusing rather than upsetting in my perhaps minority opinion.