This is 40: Judd Apatow’s Home Movie Magnum Opus

Dan Geddes
7 min readFeb 6, 2021

Apatow’s characters often talk like TV sitcom characters where a facility with insulting others, especially for any flaws in their physical appearance, is an important character trait, proof of one’s wit and toughness.

Paul Rudd … Pete
Leslie Man … Debbie
Albert Brooks … Larry
John Lithgow … Oliver
Written and directed by Judd Apatow

Review by Dan Geddes

This is 40 is a moderately entertaining Judd Apatow comedy about a married couple facing the difficulties of life as they face their fortieth birthdays.

Peter (Rudd) is a Viagra-taking, cupcake gobbling, indepedent music producer married to Debbie (Mann), a beautiful, funny woman who runs a clothing boutique. While appearances suggest they have everything a contemporary American couple could want (good looks, a beautiful house, two daughters, and an affluent Southern California lifestyle) problems lurk beneath. These characters appeared in Apatow’s hit movie Knocked Up, making This is 40 a “spin-off sequel.”

Peter has been taking Viagra, a revelation which horrifies Debbie, who doesn’t want to admit that they’re aging. Debbie lies to doctors about her age and is worried that she’s losing her looks.

They also have financial issues. Peter’s independent music label is not really making any money. Debbie’s boutique is missing $12,000. Peter’s sixty year…

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Dan Geddes

Editor of The Satirist (thesatirist.com) America’s Most Critical Journal; satirist, critic, standup in Amsterdam