Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann recreate their characters Pete and Debbie - supporting roles in the 2007 Judd Apatow hit "Knocked Up" - in this look at the transitional moments of a couple hitting the big 40 together.
Debbie is in denial, working to maintain her fitness, with personal health coach Jason (Jason Segel) and running a fashionable clothing store. Pete rides as part of a male bicycling group, continues to run his failing music label and concerns himself with things going on in his hind quarters. The stress of the transition, coupled with raising moody teenage daughter Sadie (Maude Apatow) and spunky eight-year-old Charlotte (Iris Apatow) and an impending birthday celebration which Debbie is dreading adds to moments of comic hilarity.
Unfortunately, those moments - while laugh at loud - are not frequent enough. Amidst all the raunch, which is trademark in Apatow films, there is a story that takes a good look, and at times very accurately so, at those special moments - and medical exams - that make turning 40 a black balloon moment.
Pete, who is basing the success of his struggling music business on resurrecting Graham Parker's career, is trying to hide the fact the family is about to lose the house. To add to the problems, he can't seem to find common ground with Debbie as the two work hard to keep the relationship together at this tumultuous time of their lives.
Apatow makes the most of Mann's comic ability, and Rudd is a natural. The two have great on-screen chemistry when they're getting along and when they're fighting.
The supporting cast - including John Lithgow as Debbie's absentee father, a surgeon with young children of his own; Albert Brooks as Pete's mooch of a father who continues to hit him up for money rather than find a job; and Megan Fox as Desi, Debbie's top sales person who uses her attributes to benefit - provide strong support to the film.
Ronnie (Chris O'Dowd) and Cat (Lena Dunham) also provide laughs as Pete's employees at the record company.
If you haven't turned 40 yet, you'll probably want to find a cryogenic chamber somewhere when you hit 39 once you see this film. If you are 40 or older, you'll identify with a lot of this movie. But hopefully you don't swear as much.
You'll laugh, you'll cringe, and you'll wish there were more of those moments.
On a scale of 5 popcorn buckets, This is 40 fills 3. The popcorn is fresh, but as it gets to the bottom of the bucket, the buttery flavoring goes away. It's another one of those movies where you'll laugh and feel bad about it later. Running time: 2 hours and 13 minutes. MPAA Rating: R for multiple reasons! This film was reviewed at Southpark 7 in Spencer.