This Is 40 review (Blu-ray)

This Is 40 really means This Is 40. It’s wholly intended for that age demographic and will hold no appeal whatsoever for anyone not in the middle-age bracket.

Apatow’s effort concerns the two supporting characters from Knocked Up, Peter and Debbie (Rudd and Mann) and their two daughters.  The couple turn 40 the same week and over the course of this movie’s very lengthy two-and-a-quarter hours we see the tribulations befalling them. Paul’s music business is about to go under while Debbie has an employee at her clothing store stealing the takings. They still live in a luxury home though. On top of this there is their love-hate relationship to consider as they periodically spout Californian psychobabble to progress and improve it.

To pad the running time even further they also have their troublesome fathers to deal with. Paul’s dad (Brooks) is always trying to purloin money off him while Debbie’s distant pa (Lithgow) has never really been there for her.

There is no narrative to this shapeless timefiller – one merely observes the trivial goings on with a jaundiced but tolerant eye, thanks partly to the familiar faces in support – Segal, Fox et al. It’s watchable enough but hardly riveting. These characters certainly know how to talk – and complain, and whine. After a while, you just wish they’d get a hold of themselves and shut up.

It’s lighthearted and soft centred and seemingly endless. It feels like a long flight being stuck next to passengers you’ll gladly see the back of once disembarking.

EXTRAS ★★★★ There's a choice of the theatrical version of the film, or the longer unrated version; an audio commentary with writer-director Apatow; a two-part making-of featurette (50:05); the featurette This Is Albert Brooks (10:58); the featurette Graham Parker & The Rumour: Long Emotional Ride (17:30); music videos for the Graham Parker & The Rumour songs Fool's Gold, Nobody Hurts You, Protection, Local Girls, and Long Emotonal Ride; music videos for the Graham Parker songs You Can't Be Too Strong, and What Do You Like; music videos for the Ryan Adams songs Shining Through the Dark, Lucky Now, and Ashes & Fire; seven deleted scenes (35:36); five extended & alternate scenes (18:24); and a two-part gag reel (8:26).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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