I once sat in front of Judd Apatow during a screening of Step Brothers. It ruined the entire experience. It was Judd Apatow!!! In front of me!!! Who gives a shit what happened during in Step Brothers? I’ve been following this dude since Freaks and Geeks was still airing new episodes. I used to make everyone on my dorm floor watch Undeclared every week. He made a living off of dick a fart jokes. Of course I look up to the man. The dude rules!!! So I spent the entire film watching him, stalking him, catching the jokes that made him laugh out loud. It was magnificent.
Then after I went up to him, ready to gush my manly stone cold heart out. I was gonna be like, “Dude, bro, I fucking loved Freaks And Geeks.” Or, “40 Year Old Virgin gave me a laughter boner, bro.” Instead, hands trembling, I barely whispered, “I really like your films.” I was a pussy. I thought that that man was a God to me back then. This was, of course, before Funny People. And, now, This Is 40 proves that Apatow is only a man.
This Is 40 stars most of the people from Knocked Up. Hell, it stars most of the people in every Apatow movie ever made. The dude sticks with his buddies. It’s supposed to be a slice of life look at marriage. And I guess it is. There’s a lot of fights and shit. But it is unfocused, which makes it a pretty bumpy ride.
If you don’t look at the whole, how fucking blindingly unfocused the film is, each section is pretty damn funny. Don’t worry about that, bro. You will laugh. It’s inevitable with Apatow. The guy gets funny.
Some acts are even sad, like the scene where the married people have a knock down drag out fight in their bedroom that proves the chops of everyone involved. The acting is tight. The scene is focused. And the writing is relatable and real. It makes you with the entire film could be that rad.
But then it veers off and wastes time on subplots that don’t work, or jokes that misfire. And, before you know it, it’s been over two hours. Then you get all bummed and are like, “DudeApatowBro, get to the fucking point!!!!”
It’s a shame too. Everything about this should have been Apatow’s strongest work. He’s writing about something he’s intimate with. He’s got a top notch cast. The characters are likable. Jokes are absolutely there. This film shouldn’t suck as much as it does. But Apatow’s gotta learn a thing or two about pacing if he wants to hang onto his comedic crown.