This Rotten Week: Predicting Jack Reacher, This is 40, And More Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2012-12-16 12:15:54discussion comments
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This is 40
Mrs. Rotten Week and are in that age sweet spot. Past our quarter life crises of identity and stability (i.e. partying all the time, figuring out jobs, holding on to carefree youth a bit too long, etc.) and haven’t quite hit the middle-aged, cresting over the top of the life mountain, “What does it all mean? We’re freaking adults?! What are we doing here?” phase. It’s a nice place to be but I can see a sports car and a toupee in my not-too-distant future.

That’s essentially of the conceit of This is 40, the Knocked Up spin-off following Pete and Debbie through their inevitable mid-life crises, inwardly and outwardly searching for meaning in their rather ho-hum suburb-ian lives. It’s a somewhat logical progression for director Judd Apatow who’s tackled high school (Freaks and Geeks), college (Undeclared), young pregnancy (Knocked Up-90%), adult loneliness (The 40 Year Old Virgin-86% and Funny People-68%) and now this. It makes sense and is totally conceivable that we’ll be seeing future Apatow movies dealing with retirement, old people’s homes, grandparenting, etc. Dude’s walking us through life frame by funny frame.

Early reviews are good, though not completely in line with his strongest work. Too some degree that’s to be suspected as continually putting out stellar work is no easy feat. There are some rumblings though that, in this film, Apatow has become a victim of his own success and left too much in the flick. It is long for a comedy (2+ hours) and some of the more negative reviews have mentioned as much. They’ve also touched on an unevenness that comes with the length and a need to pare down the final product. Look I could watch Paul Rudd scrape dry paint and think it was funny, so I might not be the best judge. But I can’t see the film totally blowing away critics over the long haul. I think it dips a little this week. Though I am looking forward to Apatow’s next film about sending his kids off to college. The Rotten Watch for This is 40 is 63%

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