This Is 40 (Blu-ray Review)6 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Box Office $67.54 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug material. Unrated version also included.
Stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy,
Jason Segel, Megan Fox, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks.
West Los Angeles is a region west of the 405 freeway brimming with wealth, liberal politics, retail businesses run as hobbies, and the Jewish faith.
It’s also home to Judd Apatow, who uses the area extensively as a backdrop and fuel for This Is 40, the five-years-later follow-up comedy to Knocked Up. The new film steers away from niece Alison (played by Katherine Heigl in the original), focusing instead on Pete (Paul Rudd), wife Debbie (Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann) and daughters Sadie and Charlotte (Apatow’s real daughters, Maude and Iris).
Despite the cushy environment, which finds Pete trying to re-launch ’70s music acts when not cycling with Lycra-clad buddies on $8,000 bicycles along San Vicente Blvd., and Debbie checking in on staff (which includes a funny Megan Fox) at her money-losing clothing boutique, the two are experiencing family fatigue and midlife crises as their 40th birthdays beckon.
It’s hard to feel sorry for them — except that bickering adolescent daughters, aging, menopause, marriage, personal relationships, income insecurity, mortgages and supporting a demanding parent (Albert Brooks), are issues most people can relate to.
And Apatow — who claims Paul’s character is not based on him — turns it all into a candid comedy about his family. Much of the background to the director’s “angst” is well-documented in “The Making of This Is 40,” one of three extended bonus features along with “This is Albert Brooks (at work)” and Graham Parker & The Rumour: Long Emotional Ride — the latter, a short with Ryan Adams, providing a musical backstop.
“It’s fun to talk about our relationship in a movie sometimes,” Mann says in the doc. “I think it’s been kind of cathartic.”