This is 40 minutes too long



Cert 12A


Half-way through Judd Apatow’s latest, This Is 40, a woman accuses Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) of looking like a couple from a bank advert. Its one of the better jokes, not least because it highlights the fundamental problem with the film.

Debbie and Pete are a beautiful couple with a beautiful house and two beautiful children. She works out and runs a vintage clothes shop, he runs a record label. Pete and Debbie’s alienation from each other is expressed through the refuge they take in Apple products: as marital mid-life crises go, this is a glamorous one. For most people, this isn’t 40 at all.

Financial problems and flagging libidos threaten to explode this perfectly proportioned nuclear family. Debbie is disgusted by Pete’s eating habits. Pete is disgusted by Debbie’s music taste.

There are numerous directionless sub-plots designed to flesh out the psychology of psychologically uninteresting characters. There are long, laughless stretches and like a real-life marriage gone stale, after a while you realise you’ve just been drifting without any emotional investment.

There are some good jokes. Too many, however, fall flat. You will laugh a couple of times but the ending doesn’t arrive quick enough. This is 40 minutes too long.