Thirty nine seems a loooonnnnng time ago to me now. Nevertheless, I still more than empathised with the trials and tribulations of Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) in This is Forty. Unruly kids, sagging bodies, spiralling debt, self-employed in an economic crisis – life, as the Guardian review succinctly puts it, has devolved to “a depressing kind of reconstituted virginity for married types who increasingly find themselves too exhausted for sex, and too guilty and loyal for the extramarital sex of their daydreams.” So, yup, that’s us, in a nutshell.
This is Forty is long, witty and heartfelt. Beyond my rather sad self-identification, it does of course feel like a personal film, really because it is. Leslie Mann is Judd Apatow’s wife, the kids are his kids, the extended friends and family are his friends and family. It was even shot in Judd Apatow’s neighbourhood, just 9 houses down from where they actually live. This is Forty has some cracking supporting performances too – Melissa McCarthy, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Lena Dunham, Kirsten Wiig and most surprisingly, Megan Fox, who’s actually completely brilliant here. (Her scene when she admits how she’s been making extra money is priceless.) Anyway, I enjoyed seeing the chaotic, extended, dysfunctional collection of humanity on screen, because, folks, life’s like that, and it’s hard and it’s funny and it really is worth living.