Did you ever like supporting characters better than the lead characters in a story or a movie? It’s definitely happened to me more than once (let’s be honest here, everyone liked Uncle Jesse more than Danny Tanner or any of the daughters). With the movie Knocked Up , instead of falling in love with Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl’s characters, I found myself more attached to Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd’s characters and their dysfunctional relationship.
This is 40, directed by Judd Apatow (Mann’s husband), takes place a few years after Knocked Up and Debbie (Mann) and Pete (Rudd) are rapidly approaching their 40’s. With one daughter hitting puberty and one not far behind, the couple is really starting to feel their age. Not only are they fighting a midlife crisis, but they’re also dealing with piling debt and marital issues.
It’s difficult to say that I find people’s tragedies hilarious, but in this case, it’s totally true. Pete owns a struggling record company that specializes in retro albums. Unfortunately for him, the retro craze doesn’t seem to apply to the artists that he’s choosing to market. Pete’s coworker, Ronnie (Chris O’Dowd), brings the laughs with his quick wit and smart-ass comments (plus, the accent doesn’t hurt) and doesn’t really try at all to break the news softly to Pete that records aren’t selling. This is all on on top of the news that in order to buy some time before going bankrupt, he will have to sell his house.
The couple also doesn’t seem to really like each other, which is great for the audience, but not for them or their kids. Sadie and Charlotte (Maude and Iris Apatow, Leslie Mann’s real children) have even called them out on how they act towards each other. I think Pete is just grumpy because Debbie won’t let him eat sweets. Their dysfunction is our pleasure.
One of my favorite parts has to be Debbie yelling at Pete about how long he is using the restroom. He’s clearly playing on his tablet, but who actually opens the door and yells at someone when they’ve got their pants down and sitting on the toilet. Hilarious.
As I said before, sometimes you like the supporting characters better and my favorite part of the movie involved a cameo from Melissa McCarthy. I won’t give you too many details because I don’t want to spoil her big moment. All I’m going to tell you is that she plays a disgruntled mom and she doesn’t hold back.
McCarthy isn’t the only star to make an appearance in the movie. This is 40 also features Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Lena Dunham and more.
Leslie Mann is shrewd at some points but that seems to work for her as this character and you always seem to root for Pete, as he always seems to be the underdog. This movie brings the laughs, the romance, and even the drama sometimes. This is not a sequel to Knocked Up and doesn’t deserve to be categorized as that; it deserves to stand on its own because it’s awesome. Check this out for your next movie night.
Written by: Katie Sperduti