This overlong comedy is so episodic that watching it is exactly like sitting through five episodes of a sitcom back-to-back. It's funny and enjoyable, with characters we enjoy watching, but they continually spiral back to where they started, and in the end we feel like there's been a lot of fuss about nothing. Even so, the script offers plenty of hilarious observational humour, and the cast is thoroughly entertaining.
Reprising their roles from Knocked Up, Rudd and Mann play Debbie and Pete, who turn 40 within a week of each other. But Debbie isn't coping very well with it, and her emotions swing wildly from steamy lust to fiery rage while Pete just tries to hang on. Their daughters (played by Apatow and Mann's real daughters Maude and Iris) each have their own issues to stir into the mix. And then Pete's needy father (Brooks) turns up with problems of his own, forcing Debbie to think about her own distant father (Lithgow). Meanwhile, the economic crunch is causing problems for both of their businesses.
Yes, both of them own businesses. This is not the typical struggling 40-something couple, so it's not easy to sympathise with many of their issues. Fortunately, Apatow's dialog is packed with brazen honesty and an appreciation for rude gags that keep us laughing even in the absence of an actual storyline we can get involved in (although there's one major plot point along the way). Rudd and Mann were arguably the best thing in Knocked Up, so it's great to let them take the spotlight here, making the most of their sparky interaction. And aside from experts like Brooks and Lithgow, there is a continual stream of superb side roles, including Fox as Debbie's oversexed and possibly embezzling employee and McCarthy as a furious school parent (her big scene is expanded into a brilliantly improvised outtake riff in the closing credits).
Continue reading: This Is 40 Review
Mary (Bullock) is a socially inept crossword creator for a local newspaper in Sacramento, California, where she lives with her oddball parents (Hesseman and Grant). They set her up on a blind date with news cameraman Steve (Cooper), who quickly realises that she's a nutcase. But she follows him and his crew (reporter Church and producer Jeong) to from story to story across the Southwest, convinced that they're meant to be together. It all culminates at a collapsed mineshaft in Colorado.
Continue reading: All About Steve Review
Performance artist Charlyne Yi and her friend Nick (Johnson) decide to make a documentary examining why Charlyne doesn't believe she's capable of falling in love. Nick follows her around the country talking to people about relationships. And he also photographs her regular life, during which she meets the actor Michael Cera at a party and starts a tentative relationship. Nick is a bit overexcited by this turn of events, and starts pushing them to fall in love so his film will have a great finale.
Continue reading: Paper Heart Review
On the heels of 2005's blockbuster The 40-Year-Old Virgin, writer/director Judd Apatow again mines hilarity from the relatably human in a comedy about a one-night stand with unexpected consequences: Knocked Up. Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, Roswell) joins Virgin alums Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann for a comic look about the best thing that will ever ruin your best-laid plans: parenthood.
Continue: Knocked Up Trailer
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