Strife begins at 40

Undated Film Still Handout from This Is 40. Pictured:Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd . See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Universal. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from This Is 40. Pictured:Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd . See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Universal. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

This is 40 (15)

Director: Judd Apatow.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Melissa McCarthy.

Running time: 1hr 33mins.

JUDD Apatow has become synonymous with rumbustious yet touching comedies which explore the foibles of the human condition.

In This Is 40, Apatow explores the reality of married life for a middle-aged couple who have lost that loving feeling.

Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) have raised two beautiful daughters, 13-year-old Sadie (Maude Apatow) and eight-year-old Charlotte (Iris Apatow), but are now stuck in a rut.

Sadie is going through a difficult phase, clashing with her parents about her addiction to her favourite television show.

Meanwhile, precocious tyke Charlotte is upset by all of the screaming and shouting in the house.

As Debbie goes into denial about turning 40 in the very same week that Pete celebrates the same milestone, husband and wife re-evaluate their stagnating marriage.

They decide an emotional spring clean is in order, which has dramatic repercussions for Pete’s cash-strapped father (Brooks) and Debbie’s employees (Fox, Yi) at her upscale clothing boutique.

Rudd and Mann — Apatow’s real-life wife — are an attractive pairing and scenes of them bickering are galvanised by wonderful on-screen chemistry and a sharp script.

Casting Mann’s daughters Iris and Maude adds to the realism of the dysfunctional on-screen family unit.

At an exhausting 133 minutes, the film could arguably be re-titled This Is 40 Minutes Too Long.

Rating:3/5