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The Kidd Vs. THIS IS 40


Ten years ago, there’s no way Judd Apatow’s THIS IS 40 would have anywhere near the same impact on me that it does now. Hell, I’ve still got quite a few good years before I hit the big 4-0 as it is, but being married with two kids has opened me up to a world of new perspective that I didn’t have as a young, single guy with no one to be responsible for outside of myself. As a result, there’s a greater emotional resonance for in Apatow’s latest material about a married couple who face the daily struggles of providing for a family, while at the same time, still trying to hold onto some semblance of their individual dreams as well as battling through the annoyances of your significant other regularly in order to continue realizing why you picked to be with them for the rest of your life to begin with. This isn’t exactly escapism in any way, shape or form, as there’s quite a bit that you may recognize from your own family or relationships. However, that in-your-face sense of reality makes for some rather touching and poignant moments that, in the end, lead right back to the idea that no matter how much these people may piss you off, you still love them.

Paul Rudd stars as Pete, an independent record label owner coming up on his 40th birthday right around the same time as his wife Debbie (Leslie Mann). They’ve got a pair of daughters - one of which is caught right in her hormone-heavy teenage years - a mortgage, mounting financial difficulties, the pressures of making their family-owned businesses successful (Debbie has a boutique clothing shop), parental issues that have continued to get worse over the years, a lack of time for the passion they used to have and each other. There’s nothing exceptional about them. In fact, they seem quite normal by today’s standards of fucked-up being the new normal. But what makes THIS IS 40 most intriguing is its honest assessment of a relationship like this, peeling back the façade that’s put on for your family and friends that everything is okay all the time to understand that everyone has their issues at home. Some may be a bit more humorous - the elimination of any privacy while taking a shit, the nagging about the snacks one likes to consume (What is wrong with cupcakes anyway?), the inability to sneak a blowjob in with kids always around, farting in the bed – but it’s the questions about whether a relationship would have been viable if kids didn’t happen and the dealing with the fights and all of the lows of such a long-term pairing that ground THIS IS 40 in real feelings, emotions and struggles that people face but may be afraid to express.

Apatow manages to balance the drama and the comedy remarkably in creating a film that never feels dull. He will often leave you wondering what story it is that he’s trying to tell here, but that’s because we’ve also been conditioned to expect a certain structure in films. THIS IS 40 is a bit more organic in its flow, which can be meandering in moments, by simply allowing us to follow this family in their daily dealings, both good and bad. It’s a raw examination of married life, and while that doesn’t mean everyone’s relationships will mirror what transpires on-screen, I believe there is at least one aspect of what Pete and Debbie have going on that you can grab onto and relate to in whatever you may be experiencing, allowing the film to be much more meaningful than just a drama with some jokes regularly thrown in.

At a time when about 50% of marriages end in divorce, it’s refreshing to see a couple putting in the effort through the highs and lows to make their marriage work, not only for themselves but for their children. I personally know of far too many people that have just given up on their significant other rather than battling through the problems and the issues and the troubles to make it work. That is the threat to the sanctity of marriage. Marriage isn’t something that should be rushed into, or something you do because you feel obligated to or that society expects you to. Granted, that’s not saying that all marriages are perfect, or, for some of them, that divorce isn’t the right course. But in seeing some treat marriage as just another relationship that you can break from when things get tough, it’s encouraging to see Pete and Debbie, warts and all, fight to keep it together, because no matter how bad things may get at times, the one thing that never has changed is their love. 


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by IceMonkey

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Will you stop with this this "The Kidd" vs shit???

    by ThaWhiteShadow

    It is really annoying, plus it doesn't even make sense.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    She's hot as hell and I love her voice


    I'd love to hear her in the sack calling my name.

  • That, as well as the Jonah Hill, "Shit looked like a stuffed animal" line.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Well I'll be fucked by a pig!

    by calrabjohns

    Anyone remember that guy? He got banned for posting that in every thread. It always made me laugh. It was way less obnoxious than the cox jokes. I miss you pigfucker guy...

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Damn, I hope my wife is that hot when she turns 40.

    by bat725

    If so, I don't foresee any marriage problems at all.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    I like Apatow movies. The humor is relatable.

    by Quake II

    Even though Apatow is a bit older than me he really seems to find humor in everyday life scenarios. I think Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin were hilarious and far closer to my reality than The Hangover.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    I'd only see this if he popped that cunt in her mouth.

    by nephilim138

    Whiny bitch.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    The Kidd vs...

    by Ken Young

    Gets all you guys talking about it. So... he's successful in his goal. I've come to dislike most his reviews, but since he's the only consistent reviewer on the sight I still read them. Albeit... speed reading them. Would be nice to see Capone more often. Always respected his. Of course, the little conspiracy theorist in me says that "The Kidd" isn't real, but all the reviewers writing reviews when what they have to say is not how they usually review, or against popular opinion. Entertaining thought, ya?

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by Brian just got.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...............coxxed!!!!!!!!!

  • By the third act, Paul Rudd realizes that he's been acting like an immature man-child and straightens out his act. We are reminded that our wives are not here for us to fuck whenever we want (really?), and that our kids have minds of their own (seriously?). There, I just saved you ten bucks. You're welcome. Merry Christmas.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    The Kidd vs Moriarty

    by Sean

    The Kidd loses. But, as someone pointed out, he's the only one around here anymore who posts unbiased reviews on a fairly consistent basis. You take what you can get, I guess.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Aaron Rodgers vs Peyton Manning

    by Rupee88

    Rodgers loses but doesn't mean he's not a damn good quarterback. superseantnt, you are acting like a bit of a retard to try to use that "logic" in dissing The kidd.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Sorry, I just find Leslie Mann incredibly irritating...

    by Jack Desmondi

    ...which is why I won't see this. And I like Rudd and appreciate his talent as an actor and writer. It's Mann I can't stand. Her voice is grating and she just comes off as an incredible bitch that you would just love to see anally invaded by the biggest black convict in the Los Angeles penal system.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    The joke about this is...

    by Raptor Jesus

    This is supposed to be 'relatable'? Like 'real people'? Only they are both VERY good looking and live in what is probably a five million dollar house. Seriously, who gives a fuck about people like that?

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    This is...

    by Mr.Twotimes


  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Plus, Leslie Mann is hot, but damn if she has an annoying voice

    by kidicarus

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Stop with the 'Kid Vs.' shit. It's getting old.

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Leslie Mann is the most irritating actress working today

    by rainbowtrout1265

    That high pitched raspy voice is just intolerable to listen to for any length of time. And she's no better looking than most 40 year old women that I know.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Affluent, Good-Looking White People: The Movie

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Judd Apatow is turning into Nancy Meyers...only with more dick jokes.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Did you hear what Bill Murray said about modern comedy?

    by Darth Macchio

    Yeah - what Bill said. (seriously) Apatow's stuff - very hit or miss for me. I recognize the man's talent (saw ancient stand up of his and he's hilarious) but his films just don't appeal to me. some do (40yoV), most don't. tis all good. if jj abrahms is the *thinking man's* michael bay...then judd apatow is the *thinking man's* adam sandler. but he's not remotely heir apparent to john hughes any more than jj is the next spielberg. not hating tho - nothing im saying is intended as an insult any more than it's intended as a compliment.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Only people who can relate to this live in Santa Monica or...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Places with 5 million dollar homes. This is rich people with rich people problems. Doubt it's funny or good in any way. The fact Apatow stuffs his annoying kids down our throats is enough for me to ignore it. We get it... You want your kids to be stars. Fuck off.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Yay! I lurve Paul Rudd!

    by Deceased Fan

    I just hope I can walk away from This is 40 feeling like less of a failure than I already do. The trailers hit too close to a home that once was.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Funny People wasn't funny, so I'm going to assume this ISN'T 40.

    by Fries Against

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    And I'm pretty sure the little Apatow girl is tarded.

    by Fries Against

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    What does "tarded" mean?

    by Loosejerk

    That she has already made more money than you?

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    The Kidds gotta eat..

    by Jones Jonez

    .. so he spams the site with shite

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    *There’s nothing exceptional about them.*

    by TopHat

    ...except the facts they live in a million dollar house and look like Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. In a Military Industrial Complex, how you look and how much you make DOES make you different than everyone else. Its the very foundation that American Captialism is built on. Am I the only one who gets uncomfortable whenever normal, everyday people point at movies (particularly ones with rich, beautiful characters) and proclaim how similar they are to their lives? The school shooting that just happened in Conneticut revealed a very dark side to this phenomon. Almost everyone interviewed during and after began the conversation with "As a parent...". This is geniunely disturbing to me because it suggests that only someone who has children themselves could understand the horror of a child being gunned down. Have we become so desperate to feel important and special that we insist, sometimes in anger, that people are less human beings just because they haven't followed the same social routines? I understand how good it might feel to believe you are doing what you're "supposed" to do, and that makes you better than someone who isn't. But, to go so far as to think you're a more profound human being is scary. Reacting to movies like THIS IS 40 with the same type of confirmation evolves into the reactions I've been seeing this past week in relation to a very real situation. Even if someone made the same as you, looked like you, had the same lifestyle as you, etc. You would still be completely different. Only animals can be compared and contrasted in such a way. Human beings have literally evolved past such generalizations. What's interesting is that this whole "movement" in insisting how similar we are to the rich is a direct result of the George W. Bush era. Apatow's television work in the early part of the millenium contained characters linked to the Middle-Class and suburbs. Now, gradually, with each of his motion pictures he's made them more and more priviledged. Personally, he's always been well-off, continously working in the industry; Its not as if he's suddenly come into money and this is a natural progression from that. So, if what "Pete" and "Debbie" go through is so universal and doesn't have to do with their money and looks, then why do they have to live in such posh surroundings? Why couldn't they live in a typical suburb? Their kids go to a public school? I've read people comparing THIS IS 40 to SPANGLISH, which was written and directed by James L. Brooks. Its an interesting comparison considering how his own movies have progressed in the same manor as Apatow's in terms of how privledged the characters are; TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, Brooks' first major film, dealt with Debra Winger's character's life. While Shirley Maclaine's character (who plays Winger's mother) was relatively well-off, Winger lived in a common neighborhood and house, and when her health began to detoriate, medical costs was actually given acknowledgement. HOW DO YOU KNOW (which also starred Paul Rudd), Brooks' most recent film, dealt with professional ball players and Rudd's character's family is Upper-Class. Why have the rich become such heroes? Is it because during a recession, its easy to romanticize those who have more? Why are we so eager to proclaim how similar we are to the movies we watch today? In the documentary A DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, Polly Platt talked about how she would watch the Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies of the sixties and think to herself how different her life was compared to them. How her parents and some of the people she knew would discuss how accurate and edgy those movies were, and how she completely disagreed with them. That the great-looking Day and Hudson living in expensive apartments had no relation to her or her own generation's lives. The new wave of American film making that happened in the late sixties and first part of the seventies derived from those same feelings Platt had, imo. Today, it feels the consensus is the complete opposite. Where Platt's generation mocked and ridiculed the supposed "mirrors" movies and television shows were holding up to the public, we embrace and confirm. Where Platt's generation recoiled from the depictions of "everyday life" in the media, we desperately cling to. It should be no surprise of the large gap in quality between the movies of then and now.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    I love Mann

    by gaygoonie

    She's funny and moving. And who can forget Debbie "Let's get some fucking French toast!" from 40 Year Old Virgin. Lots of women-hating basement dwellers on this site.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Judd Apatow is the M. Night Shamalamadingdong of comedy.

    by kindofabigdeal

    First thought 40 YOV was overhyped but was surprised that it actually made me laugh. Then his other stuff came out. (Knocked Up, Funny People) I found it following a trend of becoming less funny as we went along. I think his Producing credits have funnier films. I don't know if it's because other people are funnier than him and he just takes all the credit. Or it could be he sadly wants to be taken serious as a film maker. (if this is true he needs to make characters we care about)

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Excellent post by tophat. Makes my posts look tarded.

    by Fries Against

  • and being 43...this might be MY demographic to check out with my wife. Also, Manns tits are nicer than you think.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST

    The Kidd Vs. my nut sack.

    by KonkBob

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    Wait - are they the same characters from Knocked Up?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Because Leslie Mann's character in that film is an awful human being.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Yes same characters.

    by peter

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    David Mamet says never make a movie starring your wife.

    by Smerdyakov

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Is David Mamet still married to Rebecca Pidgeon?

    by Raptor Jesus

    She was great in 'The Winslow Boy'.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Kidd and future help...

    by Immortal_Fish guys give me hope for this site. As for Leslie Mann -- She's not my type, yet I can easily see why she would be for most guys. To me, she's like a Maybelline version of Lori Petty.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST


    by Stephen

    Noone wants to relate to your shitty apartment or shitty job.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    I won't give this any money because...

    by Kyle

    If this is successful in ten years we'll have a this is 50, followed by a this is 60...and then they'll shake it up with a prequel: This is 10. I'm with the guy who said Judd's movies have been going down hill. 40 year virgin was alright, knocked up didn't really do much for me, and funny people was flat out unfunny and sucked aside from the stand up comedy bits...

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST


    by TopHat

    Comedy used to entirely be about relating to one's shitty apartment and shitty job.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Top hat ... Write a fucking book

    by HoraceSkinner

    Movies like this used to end with ppl like this getting beaten in a ski or boat race. . . I miss those movies ... Wait did u just blame Bush for how crappy this movie is ? Wait did the Kidd like a movie ?

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST



  • Dec. 20, 2012, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Paul Rudd and Judd Apatow. Yippee.

    by David Duchovny

    Throw Vince Vaughn into the mix and I'll slice my goddamned head off with a pen knife.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 4:11 a.m. CST


    by Glenn

    Thanks for the incisive post. It went where I thought it would, with the James L. Brook's evolution...further and further from the middle-class into the posh unobtainable Hills of Beverly or Sunset or Hollywood. A shame, really. However I do appreciate Apatow and hope he continues following the Everyman, because it looks like he's getting further from him/it... I like Leslie. Probably a taste thing but I can think of worse (Heigl). -- Oh yeah, it's been months and months now. Can you guys give it a rest on your lame hatred for the whole "Kidd vs." format? Who gives a fuck? Dislike the writing all you want but to get distressed about such minutiae -- and worse, continue to express it ad nauseum -- puts on display your inability to deal with your intolerance for personality quirks. You must be intolerable yourself in large groups.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Do we get a good look at Megan Fox's tard thumbs in this movie?

    by Fries Against

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    People STILL say "M. Knight Shamalamadingdong"?

    by Boofalicious Washington

    Are the fists up their asses still stuck in 2001?

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by nametaken

    that still cracks me up. and its easier to spell.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    'This is 40' ends with...

    by buggerbugger

    ...Bane's henchmen kicking in the door, ransacking the house and dragging Rudd and Mann into the street, where Bane mumbles something incoherently at them before effortlessly snapping their necks.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    2 good things about seeing this movie...

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    - no annoying teens in the theater - it's probably a more tolerable chick flick than most

  • And now he has the same relationship with his kids since they have half-hot genes. Gotta keep the princesses happy!

  • They live in a shitty house in shitty town in the Rust Belt, Roseanne works as a waitress and Dan in a mechanic shop, and they're pretty firmly middle-class. Real middle-class, too, not Hollywood middle-class. I can't really think of any other TV shows that took that approach in recent memory.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    kidicarus, the other thing about Rosanne,

    by SergeantStedenko

    was that it was a couple that actually looked like they would be together and not some fat shlub with a hot wife way out of his league like every other sit com.

  • This is not the average person you would find in the streets. This are not your average everymen and everywomen, this are hot people whose mariage failed they would find new partners in an heartbeat. I would more easily buy a guy like Adrien Brody as the lead playing an everyman and even that would be stretching because he's still better looking then most men are. Even if the idea was that the couple in this movie are more attractive then the average, they are still way beyond what's commonly found. Sorry, doesn't work for me. Also, look at that bathroom! Looks too posh for an average middle class bathroom. This people are not commom people, they are quite well off. Pish-posh, man!

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Leslie Mann is sexy?? You've got to be kidding.

    by rainbowtrout1265

    Good grief...go to any shopping mall and there are tons of women better looking than that grating, raspy voiced shrew. Nobody would look twice at her if she wasn't in movies. And I could care less that she's married to Apatow. She's repugnant on her own merits.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Rudd and Mann do look like average people

    by rainbowtrout1265

    Where the heck do you people live that they are considered so above average looks wise? I'm an athletic director and they look like the parents that come to watch their kids play basketball or volleyball every weekend. No better looking and no worse looking, just typical soccer mom and dad.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Know how I know you're gay? You bitch about Leslie Mann.

    by GoSensGo

  • I know you don't find Mann attractive and personally I don't much either, but objectively speaking she is at least an 8 out of 10. And Rudd is at least a 7. Average would be a 5 or 6. I apologize for using the tacky 1 thru 10 rating system, but it seemed apropos.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    This is what you get with non-escapist films - risk

    by Darth Macchio

    As in, people will not necessarily buy the concept at all (as many are not buying it on this site obviously) due to the fact that, in comparison to the lives of *average* people, it's extremely difficult to empathize with someone who has a multi-million dollar nest egg in the form of a massive beautiful home. Kids going to private school as well? So then, the only difference between these people and genuinely affluent people is a nanny? A nanny may as well be a different planet to 99% of the households on Earth. Private school tuition may as well be a different planet too. Which is not to say people couldn't relate to the problems the characters are experiencing - out of touch or not - just that, for it to really work, it has to be realistic and probably more bleak then it actually is and really cannot center on money unless they're being evicted, kids kicked out of private school, cars repossessed, etc. i think Spanglish worked because there was never overt issue with money (that I recall - it has been a while), only issues with fidelity and satisfaction with the life one leads. i think this movie probably has the same aspects and i do think people of all classes could relate but the moment people with excess anything complain about money, you loose the people without excess cause they, ahem, actually know better. It's like the guy griping to you that he can't afford medical insurance but yet you know he budgets at least $1000 per month for playing bingo and going fishing. he cries that he can't afford his kid's tuition as he drives off in a land rover or mercedes. its transparent bullshit and will destroy any suspension of disbelief otherwise earned by the character's plights. unless you make that loss of money issue a factor in the film itself. so kudos to apatow for taking this risk even though im guessing he's never thought of it that way. i hope it succeeds - we've got far too much bullshit arbitrary separation as it is.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    They were the only good thing in Knocked Up.

    by jimmy_009

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Leslie Mann is totally hot. What's wrong with you people?!?

    by jimmy_009

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Can't be worse than Funny People

    by Wcwlkr

    That movie was horrendous. I was suprised that I actually enjoyed Knocked Up. But I can't state enough how much I hated Funny People.

  • Poo is just going to get all over the toilet lid and the radius around his Pullruddhole. That's cool I guess.

  • Jesus Fucking Christ.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    There's a reason Apatow's best work was FREAKS AND GEEKS

    by Jason

    He was forced to wrap it up in an hour.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Leslie Mann is such a babe.

    by Kevin D

    Apatow is one lucky man. Can't wait to see this film too!

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:01 p.m. CST


    by Luke

    Everything you just said. I hear you brother. The prevalent attitude: Didn't we all know that having kids means you're a deeper thinker and that you have greater insight on the human condition? ...or could it just be that you spunked up your wife and have been patting yourself on the back for it ever since, like it was some kind of achievement. Pisses me off too man...and depresses me at the same time. Excellent post.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    This is....way more than 40!

    by Ninja Nerd

    Spent 28 years married; 18 years to the first, 10 to the second. Can't say I cared much for it. Now, I live in a nice house and pay money for two other houses I don't live in. That said, it's actually good. I'm in Tracy / Hepburn mode; live close and visit often. A nice young woman who gets that comes over for movies, eats my cooking without complaint, and screws me into a coma 2-3 times a week. Hard to get excited about marriage, you know? For you non-ancient boys and girls, I don't recommend OR discourage matrimonial bliss. I would counsel to choose carefully, have separate bank accounts, and always keep $3-5000 in cash and an escape plan handy. Just saying....

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    This is 11...

    by SergeantStedenko

    ...dollars I won't be spending in the theater.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Enough with the hating on the Kid's tagline

    by Shia_LaBeoufs_Mutant_Hand

    Do you retards still not get that it works in tandem with his pseudonym? It's better than the never ending puns in the other critics' headlines.