Sean recently told me about a review he read of this movie that was only six words long -- "THIS IS 40 - This is 40 minutes too long." True but there are many other problems with this film as well.
Apatow needs a little less control of his films. He needs someone to edit his movies a little, let him know when some of the improvised scenes don't quite work, and someone to tell him to stop casting his entire family in every movie.
I was ready to love this movie. Hell, I'm almost 40. Hell, I know that marriage isn't easy. Hell, I probably eat too many cupcakes. I was almost in tears when I first saw the preview. I was primed to like this.
But none of it really rang true. Everything seemed just a little too easy. I mean, when Paul Rudd is your stand-in, the whole joke about eating too many cupcakes makes no sense. Rudd's character looks great and is always exercising. And are we really supposed to feel bad for someone that looks like Leslie Mann and who also has the time and money to worry about it to the degree she does.
And just because they are upper middle class and entitled doesn't mean
that the themes of the movie can't be universal. How much more universal can you get than worries about aging and marriage? For example,
I can't relate to the richies in Scenes From a Marriage or Husbands and Wives,
but those movies about troubled marriages are great. Granted, I'm not
comparing Apatow to Bergman or Woody Allen but he has shown in the past
that he has the talent to straddle the line between comedy and sadness
quite well. He just didn't do it here.
Sure, there was some worrisome conflicts - maybe they need to sell their incredible house. Maybe Rudd has to sell his original artwork by John Lennon. Maybe Rudd needs to stop lending almost 80 grand to his father. 80 grand!!!! Maybe they can't take their fancy retreat vacations for awhile. Or maybe they need to find other jobs to replace their boutique record label or boutique shop.
And did I mention there were too many random subplots that either went nowhere or went somewhere that wasn't very interesting.
Things I liked:
- the Lost story line
- Melissa McCarthy
- the Tom Petty lookalike
- Paul Rudd is a funny dude
- a few minutes of Albert Brooks before that became tedious
- Some of the marriage dialogue straddled the line well between funny and serious.
- The Graham Parker subplot was pretty ridiculous but some of it was so absurd that it almost kind of worked.
All in all, at least this was better thanFunny People, right?
Directed by Judd Apatow
Universal Screening Room