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Middle Aged Spread

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Rambling. Poop. Scrabble. I do that. You do that. Messy. Overlong. Sketches stretched over a film? No, I haven’t gone mad that dear readers is a selection of notes that I scribbled down around one o clock yesterday morning after seeing This Is 40, which is basically a follow up to Knocked Up. Judd Apatow has been dismissed as a “purveyor of toilet humour.” I agree to a certain extent. But he wraps it up in heartfelt, honest story arcs. This film open up with Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) having sex in the shower. He admits mid coitus that he took Viagra to give her a special “birthday treat.”

I know not the smartest move in the world but it sets up this film pretty well. Now this scene has been the focal point of most of the “toilet humour” criticism levelled at the film and Apatow in general. I disagree. The Viagra joke is the set up to the fact that Pete and Debbie are having sex just because it’s her birthday. And he needs Viagra to maintain an erection which snowballs an argument in which Debbie feels insecure and not as attractive as she once was. Common issues once you look past the erection joke…. And the main narrative drive over the rest of the film.

The film deals with both parties turning 40 although Debbie tries to convince herself and everyone else that she’s 38. Their marriage is in a rut and the kids are driving them mad. Pete is haemorrhaging money on his independent record label by doing the music he feels passionate about instead of signing a “hot 16 year old girl.” A few of the problems which are pretty universal. They deal with them in various comedy set ups. This is one of my gripes with the film, the story takes a back seat to these skits and it sometimes feels like a series of sketches.

That being said the ensemble cast is great. And there are genuinely laugh out loud moments which revolve around more than blue erection pills and poop. And being completely honest, we were sitting there repeatedly saying “That’s us…. You do that…. You’re that mental.” None more so noticeable than when Pete looks Debbie dead in the eyes while they’re having a deep conversation and farts…. Three times. “It was the springs….” We’ve all been there… Surely?


3.5 / 5




Written by thepanch

February 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm

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