Ruddtrospective #17: Judd Apatow Is A Good Director – Part Three

Spoilers for the movie This Is 40, Judd Apatow’s second depressing movie about being forty years old.

This Is 40(2012) stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Chris O’Dowd, Robert Smigel, Annie Mumolo, Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, and Melissa McCarthy. It was written and directed by Judd Apatow.

This Is 40 is about Pete(Paul Rudd) and Debbie(Leslie Mann), the irritable married couple from Knocked Up. Five years have passed since Knocked Up and Pete and Debbie are both turning 40 in the coming week. And it’s just a fairly long movie about the two of them trying to get by even though they kind of hate each other and their lives are really hectic. I just finished my Space Jam: A New Legacy review, so I’m kind of going to do my review for this like that. Not the 115 thoughts thing though, just a few general thoughts I have while watching it. His movies are more about scenes than they are about plot, and it just feels like I should’ve done this for the others. But I didn’t! And here we are.

  • This movie really follows in the footsteps of Knocked Up in terms of the scenes between Pete and Debbie. It’s very clear that Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann really did their best to make this seem as accurate to their relationship, and many other long-term relationships, as possible. The dialogue and scenarios these two go through are not dissimilar to arguments I’ve witnessed in real life.
  • I forgot how confronting the opening scene was. This movie may not be for everyone.
  • I still don’t know where I stand on Paul Rudd’s hair in this movie. I’ll put a picture below.
  • Yeah, I don’t know if I like it or not.
  • CHARLOTTE: “I can handle a nightmare, you’re a nightmare every day for me.”
    Charlotte is played by Iris Apatow, one of Judd and Leslie’s very funny and talented daughters. Apparently Maude Apatow is in Euphoria, a show that I really should watch.
  • I forgot that Leslie Mann keeps saying that she’s 38 in this until she finds out that Paul Rudd didn’t get her a birthday present.
  • RONNIE(Chris O’Dowd): “I would love to see that photo of that gout foot.”
    I cannot emphasize how much I love Chris O’Dowd.
  • This is a very funny movie.
  • Paul Rudd is extremely in debt and he hasn’t told Leslie Mann. He also has to sell their very big house in order to stay afloat financially.
  • Albert Brooks plays Paul Rudd’s father. He’s very funny in this. He has three little boys and it’s really funny to watch him interact with them. And John Lithgow plays Leslie Mann’s dad. He’s a bit more of a straight man, that obviously wasn’t around for Leslie Mann when she was a kid.
  • Leslie Mann finds out that she’s having another kid and is very not happy to learn this. And when she tries to tell Paul Rudd about it he responds the absolute worst way someone who’s about to find out his wife is pregnant could respond.
  • There’s a fun scene where Leslie Mann goes dancing at a club with her coworker Desi(Megan Fox). Megan Fox is very funny in this and in literally everything else. I think she’s great. Also Leslie Mann gets hit on by Wyatt Russell. John Walker is in this! So that’s cool.
  • I don’t understand why this movie is so depressing and so funny at the same time.
  • PETE: “We’re like Simon and Garfunkel. And you’ve turned me into Garfunkel!”
    I often wonder if I’m the Art Garfunkel of my own life.
  • Paul Rudd owns a record company that is not successful, because he’s so hung up on supporting classic rock musicians that he’s always been a big fan of, and he refuses to sign a younger, more successful musician. So there’s a lot of great, funny scenes with him and Chris O’Dowd arguing about musicians.
  • In Knocked Up, Charlyne Yi played Martin Starr’s drug-addled girlfriend. And in this I’m pretty sure she plays the same person. She works for Leslie Mann, and there’s a scene where she gets fired for being on drugs at work all the time. Directly after that there’s a hilarious scene with Melissa McCarthy where she yells at Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, and the principal of Sadie’s school. She yells at them and says they look like a couple in a bank commercial. But the Principal doesn’t believe that they did anything wrong and they leave the school with independent smiles on their faces, but they’re still so upset with each other that they don’t speak and just walk to separate cars.
  • This movie is brilliant in so many ways, and I really don’t know why I didn’t love this when I saw it for the first time a few years ago.
  • Oh, Jason Segel is in this playing the same character he played in Knocked Up. In that he was constantly hitting on Leslie Mann, and in this he’s her physical trainer. He has a lot of funny scenes with Chris O’Dowd and Megan Fox at Pete’s Birthday party, which is what the movie was building up to.
  • Good God, this is an incredibly funny movie.
  • I do wish that Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl were in this. I’m going to look into that real quick and figure out why that is.
  • Apparently he wanted the focus to be on Pete and Debbie, and he thought that if he put Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen in it would pull focus and they would need to have a big storyline of their own. I kind of disagree. They could have mentioned them at the very least.
  • At one point Megan Fox thinks that Jason Segel and Chris O’Dowd are a couple because of Chris O’Dowd’s mustache.
    RONNIE: This is a straight-man’s mustache.
    DESI: What is the difference between a gay man’s mustache and a straight man’s mustache?
    JASON: The smell.
    Heh.
  • I think that this may be my favorite Judd Apatow movie. I still have yet to watch Trainwreck and The King of Staten Island. And Love, that Netflix show he made. But of the three I’ve seen, this is my favorite. Also, he has a new movie coming out on Netflix in April called The Bubble that I’m really excited for.
  • UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE: This post has been out for a bit by now, but I have now seen Trainwreck, King of Staten Island, and The Bubble. I have yet to watch Love, Freaks and Geeks, or any of the movies he produced and didn’t direct. But I can confidently say This Is 40 is still my favorite. The Bubble is cringy but it washes over you because the actors are all so charming. The King of Staten Island is good but depressing. And Trainwreck has tons of hilarious moments coupled with some generic bits. So this is easily still the best. Unless of course you count Superbad as one of his movies. In which case that wins. Anyway, THE UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE IS OVER! TIME TO GO BACK TO THE PAST!
  • John Lithgow is really good at playing a distant father. Although I think he’s more fun to watch in this than in How I Met Your Mother.
  • The climax of the movie is when Paul Rudd finds out at his birthday party that Leslie Mann is pregnant and he starts biking furiously through the neighborhood and some asshole opens his car door right in time for Paul Rudd to ride his bike into it. And the guy punches him. It’s kind of funny but also he’s driving a rental car and they can’t sue him.
  • Also there’s a funny subplot in this where Sadie is obsessed with Lost, and Pete and Debbie accuse J.J. Abrams of ruining their lives because of how intense she gets about it.
  • This movie is way, way better than I remember. It’s really sweet and funny and the music is great and the actors are amazing and it’s just really really good. I’m really glad that I’m doing this stupid thing, because I don’t know if I would’ve rewatched it if I wasn’t. It is two hours and fourteen minutes with credits, so I understand why some people would feel there’s too much movie. But it’s just really good. Even though Pete and Debbie are always arguing, you can tell they’re still in love.
  • And the credits are just bloopers of Melissa McCarthy acting like a psycho. Which is always really fun.
  • A SECOND UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE: Maybe two days after I posted this, Judd Apatow said something in an interview about wanting to make This Is 50, and how he has a perfect idea in mind. I hope he makes it. I don’t know if he’ll be able to pull it off, but I’m more than okay with more Paul Rudd content being out there. So yeah! SECOND UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE OVER, NOW BACK TO THE STINKY PAST ONCE AGAIN!

Overall Rating: 9/10(I am incredibly surprised by how much my opinion of this movie changed. Everybody should watch this. It’s really good and funny. Watch it.)
Rudd Rating: 10/10(I didn’t talk about him as much as I usually do for this, which is surprising. But he’s really good in this. Him and Leslie Mann were both really good in Knocked Up, but they really cranked it up to ten in this. Watch this movie!)

So that was an incredibly surprising end to my Judd Apatow trilogy of reviews. I was not looking forward to rewatching this, so I was very much taken aback with how much I enjoyed it. Fortunately there will be no surprises next week, because I recently watched Overnight Delivery(The subject of next week’s Ruddtrospective) for the first time, and I already know where I stand with that one. It’s fucking terrible. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this! See you next time.

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