Billed as a comedy, director/writer Judd Apatow’s essay on the trials and tribulations of turning 40 has few real laughs (”digital hard-on” during the opening Viagra scene pretty much sets the tone) and suffers from a heavenly length that cries out for another visit to the editing suite. There’s a late-inning gag about playing the Jew card, but that only serves as a self-fulfilling example in the danger of indulging in stereotypical clichés. Oy vey!
Zeroing in on a couple (Paul Rudd as the struggling CEO of retro-label Unfiltered Records—yet another too-on-the-nose metaphor; Leslie Mann heroically plays wife, Debbie, who has no qualms lying about her age or going the full Monty for her mammary exam) whose 40th BDs fall within a few days of each other and their two cantankerous daughters (Maude Apatow is the recently menstruating Sadie; Iris Apatow excels as Charlotte, her younger sibling), the film is a never-ending series of vignettes that takes the Monty Python notion of “I came here for an argument” to tiresome extremes. And there are enough “fucks and fucking” iterations in the script to weaken the overall tone into the too-frequently visited realm of crude.
‘Nuff said. JWR