"Will You Stop Eating Cupcakes!" - This Is 40

Friday, December 21, 2012


If I had realized the characters in Judd Apatow's This Is 40, were the same couple from Knocked Up, I would not have gone to see this movie. I hated Alison's (Katherine Heigl's) annoying, abrasive, argumentative sister and brother-in-law. My amnesia is not surprising considering Knocked Up is on my list of “never need to see again movies” - just did not see the funny.   

I did however, really like the trailer for This Is 40, and not only did the trailer do the movie justice - for a change, there are heaps more funny scenes and lines than the trailer shows! Most importantly, Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) have been toned down and reshaped to make them a helluva lot more comedic and a shit load more likeable.


Lf to Rt: Maude, Iris Apatow, Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow

While writer/director Judd Apatow set out to make a movie about his take on marriage, kids and being 40, starring his own wife (Mann) and children (scene stealers :Iris and Maude Apatow), filmed in the actual neighborhood where he lives - he emphatically denies ever having used Viagra, as Pete does in the opening scene in order to give Debbie better birthday sex. 

The movie does have a narrative, there are no gimmicks, no vignettes; yet it's obvious Apatow likes to write scene by scene, hoping each well-crafted, funny point and observation will wind up telling a complete story. And for the most part, it does! It's a long story that could have used some tightening up; but I can't imagine where that tightening should have happened, cause I truly enjoyed every moment; and although my turning 40 was closer to The 40 Year Old Virgin, I related much more to this movie and wouldn't want to cut any of this family's trials, tribulations and daily dysfunction, or that of their friends, co-workers, extended family and community. Which includes an “in tune” personal trainer (Jason Segel) a super hot possible embezzler (Megan Fox) Pete's mooching father with 2nd family of tow headed triplets (Albert Brooks), hilarious mom at school (Melissa McCarthy) and many other cameo appearances, but surprisingly none from Heigl or Rogan.


I kinda think rather than having made Pete a former record executive, with a new label and Debbie a boutique owner, they might as well have gone all the way biographical and been a writer/director and actress. There's an unmistakeable LA look and feel about the family and their home. Plus they make far more pop-culture, movie/tv references than the average family does. Their money woes would have had to take a different turn; still, having them be in the industry would have added another layer of reality and emotional humor.

 Of course if they'd done this, there wouldn't be a tie-in to create an amazing soundtrack: 
All The Songs In 'This Is 40' Including Paul Simon, Missy Elliot, Van Halen, The Pixies & More by Kevin Jagernauth/Indiewire.com 

"This Is 40" is stacked with music. The official soundtrack boasts 17 songs, including new tunes from Norah Jones, Fiona Apple, Graham Parker, and Lindsey Buckingham. The movie itself features even more, including a handful of unlikely surprises. READ MORE 

Apatow recently promoted the movie in Philly and did an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air Weekend, (click to listen) where he discussed his love and loyalty for Segel and Rogan since Freaks and Geeks and the importance of mentors when starting out in this business. 


Food Footnote: Rudd's characters has a 2 or more a day cupcake habit in the film, yet his toned physique doesn't show it. I would however believe Apatow could be harboring a cupcake monkey on his back.



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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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