Movie Review: This is 40 (2012)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2012 romantic comedy starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.

Synopsis: On the eve of both of them turning 40, a married couple copes with two failing businesses, mooching parents and feuding kids. With so much stress in their lives, their marriage is on the verge of failing.

The movie stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks and Megan Fox.

Review

When I first saw previews to this movie, I wasn't sure if it was a film I would be interested in seeing and, because of that, we avoided watching it when it came out at the theater. However, my wife and I had an opportunity to finally watch it last night and, after doing so, I have to admit the film was considerably better than expected.

I usually avoid romantic comedies because the majority of them are based on fantasy and I find it very hard to relate to the characters. That wasn't the case when it came to this movie because, in many ways, this was a comedy about my wife and me.

In addition to being the same age as the main characters (I'm turning 40 this year and my wife will be turning 40 next year), we've faced a lot of the same situations. The oldest daughter (Maude Apatow) reminded us a lot of our oldest daughter, especially when it came to some of the conversations (minus the swearing) she had with her dad. And, what married couple hasn't had relationship stress caused by money? Not to mention I'm not convinced we wouldn't act any differently if my wife were to find out she was pregnant again, like Mann's character in the film.

Another thing I found I liked about this movie was the way it avoided being as predictable as other films in this genre. There were a variety of twists and turns I honestly wasn't expecting and there were times when I did find myself wondering if they would find a way to make their marriage work or the film would end with them realizing they would be happier if they were divorced.

One thing that really surprised me about this movie was the clever way it managed to have scenes (especially when they were fighting) that were both dramatic and a bit funny at the same time. I would find myself laughing then, when I realized just how serious the situation was and how close they were to having their marriage fail as a result, I would feel guilty. It was a unique experience to say the least.

I was a bit undecided about the ending of this film, mostly because it's not one of those feel-good endings that solves everyone's problems and, instead, the characters still faced quite a bit of uncertainty. While part of me wanted to see more closure, I also had to admit I liked the fact the writers decided not to make things easy on the characters by having some sort of cliche miracle and, as a result of that, do feel I enjoyed it overall.

Final Opinion

This is a great romantic comedy that is very easy to relate to, especially if you're married and have children. I would recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 06/01/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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