Sunday, January 20, 2013

If (Gen)X = 40, Solve for Why

I was really excited when I first saw the preview for This is 40, the latest movie from GenX writer and director Judd Apatow. I turned 40 this year, and I love when movies coincide perfectly with my life. In much the same way I was super psyched when Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion came out two years before my own 10-year reunion.I was also glad to see that Forty was a comedy, and not a total downer like The Big Chill was for Boomers at this age(though I totally concede Chill is a great movie that still holds up). 

So now that it’s been out for a month or two I finally got around to seeing it today. Friends asked for a review. Okey doke. Here goes.

Holy crap. I didn’t expect it to be so emotional! In the trailer it looks FUNNY. And it IS. Hilariously so. Many times I was near peepee pants from laughing. But then suddenly and out of freaking nowhere I was practically in tears. When the teenage daughter character had a breakdown at the breakfast table I nearly had one of my own. When the two main adult characters had one of their what-are-we-doing-in-this-marriage freakout spats (and there are a lot of them) I held my breath that they wouldn’t break up. The juxtaposition of the adoration between spouses and the shit that happens in life was very real and relatable. The weird physical changes that come with aging—the ones that are best not shown head-on but rather hidden behind a strategically placed hand mirror—offer fodder for some of the funniest moments in this movie.

Some of the dialogue was overly clever, in a way that makes you realize nobody is that adroit at witty repartee that spontaneously (I made the same comment about Reality Bites almost 20 years ago). And though I personally love Leslie Mann, I could see how some people might get a little tired of her whiny baby voice, but it’s not enough reason to avoid seeing this movie. 

Above all this is a movie that will make you laugh. You’re in serious need of Zoloft if you don’t bust a gut, though you and your spouse will probably find different scenes to be the funniest. But be prepared for a little soul punching if you’re hovering around forty, a parent, married, having career issues, money issues, health issues, parent issues, or any combination of those problems. Just make sure you stay into the closing credits; the outtake reel of a scene featuring Melissa McCarthy is 60 seconds of crass bliss.

My just-turned-40-husband’s comment:  “There were some very funny moments, but I thought it was kind of disjointed. And it was predictable based on the preview. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd played off of each other well. They blamed everybody but themselves...but that’s our generation.”  Point delivered, Mr. Apatow.

No comments:

Post a Comment