Yesterday, I went to the movies with my parents and somehow This is 40 beat out Django Unchained even though I really thought the latter would win the war (I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the almost 3 hour run time and the fact we have a new kitty who’s a little sick at home). Well, if that’s what happens when you turn 40, I plan on staying 21 forever because I am not facing that ugly reality. Overall, I would say it scores an A+ in the funny category but I’m not so sure about how I feel about the plot…in fact, I’m not so sure that I completely understand what the purpose of the movie was.
Pretty much, I wanted to see this movie because I love Paul Rudd. I think he is one of the funniest actors and I may have had a crush on him since…oh, I was in middle school, addicted to Friends, and he played Mike. He did not disappoint me in this one. I seriously thought this was one of the funniest movies I have seen lately. Let me put it for you this way. My mom rarely likes comedies. They have to be of the romantic variety or the kind of comedy you find when you are watching a horror movie and laugh when you watch the dumb, completely death-deserving girl meets her maker. The absolute best scene is previewed in the commercials. Rudd and Leslie Mann, the married couple the movie focuses on, have taken a weekend away. They decide that it’s a good idea to eat some pot cookies that Rudd’s friend gave to him and then order all the room service food on the menu. I think I may have snorted during this one because Mom was basically in tears from laughing so hard.
Mann seems to have picked up on Katherine Heigl left off and is going to start playing uptight, crazy girls. I couldn’t really remember what movies I had seen her in (Quick IMDB search showed me a list including The Change Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin) but I knew I’d seen her before and I knew she was good at this role. This one was no different than the rest. She overreacts to things; she’s hot; she’s a good (sort of) mom. But, I can’t really remember her being funny in the other movies (Probably because I was a little disturbed and distracted by Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds in The Change Up and I didn’t really like The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Anyway, my point is that she was very good and very funny in this role.
And, we get some pretty awesome other actors that have smaller parts. Jason Segel plays a hot trainer (I would so hire a trainer if they all looked and acted like him). Megan Fox play (Shocker!) a hot employee of Mann’s clothing store. She is chased by the single guys; she is accused of stealing; she’s also an escort. It’s your typical Megan Fox role. I hate to say it but I’m pretty sure (like 99% sure) that this girl will never be cast as anything else because she can’t play anything else. I guess that’s the price you pay when you are that hot (I’m glad there’s something because it just wouldn’t be fair to the rest of us). My favorite smaller role in the movie was Mann’s father, played by John Lithgow. I am a huge fan of him because of 3rd Rock from the Sun and I may have bawled like a baby because of him during Rise of the Planet of the Apes. You also get to see Michael Ian Black (You may know him as I do from his time on VH1’a I love the… series) and beloved Melissa McCarthy, who was hilarious. Plus, for you Green Day fans out that, Billie Joe made a nice little cameo, too (I’ve kind of stopped listening since American Idiot).
So, clearly you get that this is full of laughs and familiar actors. However, as I said, I’m still not really sure what the point of this movie is. Was it to scare me away from being 40? My mom handled 40 fine. It was 30 that freaked her out (Probably because Daddy had a black Over the Hill cake with black balloons and all that stuff). But I think if this was the purpose, it succeeded with at least me. I was talking to Michael after we came home and told him that I don’t want to get married or turn 40 if that’s what it entails. I don’t want to hate him and loathe looking at him every day. I don’t want to fight constantly and cuss at each other and just, in general, be very mean. But what if that wasn’t the point? What was it then? Was it to show that people freak out in America as we get older? Well, that’s no new news because we live in a society that thrives on youth and our perception of beauty. I really can’t think of any other purposes that this movie might have. Anyone else know what it was or have other ideas?
The biggest criticism of this movie (Other than it seemed to drag a bit) was all the constant product and brand placement. There was Oreos on Graham Parker’s hat. Livestrong and Arrogant Bastard beer on the biking shirts. All kinds of stuff in the record label offices including bands like AC/DC. Lost got the biggest of them all because the oldest daughter of the couple was obsessed with it, cried during the last episode, and about freaked out when the wi-fi was gone and she could no longer watch it. I’m sure I’m missing a good bit but it seemed like everywhere you turned, there was some brand or product having its extra little push thanks to the actors. I’m all for a good sponsorship or a little placement but let’s keep it to where I don’t want to puke from seeing it over and over. Even my mom (though she is becoming a bit of a critic thanks to me talking about my classes) leaned over and said it was getting ridiculous.
I would say that if you are in the mood for a comedy, then this one will do just fine. I might suggest seeing Grown Ups because I think that’s one of the best comedies I’ve seen but I love Paul Rudd so I’ll stick with promoting this one (Plus, Jason Segel for those of you who agree with me that’s he’s super cute). But if you aren’t in the mood right now, I would wait until it comes out on DVD and watch it then. At least then you won’t have to go to the bathroom and wait, thinking the movie will end soon, only to realize there’s another 30 minutes left.