Sunday, 17 February 2013

This is 40

(spoiler warning)

'This is 40'
Is a sequel to 'Knocked Up' that follows the side story of Pete (Played by Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Played by Leslie Mann) as they not only come to terms with life after the big 40, but also with the decisions that have led them to this point in their relationship.

I'll be honest, I went into this film not really expecting great things. I personally loved 'Knocked up', but I find that sequels of this nature usually fall short of the mark left by the original film, as they try to recreate certain moments that made the first so great. 

This is why I was so pleased with 'This is 40', as in my opinion it managed to avoid this trap spectacularly, creating some real moments where I felt a genuine connection to the characters. Another trap that I feel this film managed to bypass, is the mistake of showing all the important scenes in the trailer. While this seems like an easy thing to avoid, many good films have fallen right into it, tricking audiences into thinking it will be a brilliant 'laugh-a-minute' experience, when really, they have already seen the best moments for free.

The plot revolves largely around 'Paul' and 'Debbie' as their relationship deteriorates, with brief moments of respite, and even slight recovery, before descending into chaos once again. This is juggled nicely with a subplot that 'Pete's' new record company is losing money at an alarming rate, teetering on the chasm of bankrupsy.

There are a few more sub's thrown in for good measure, but I shall leave those out of this, to keep an air of mystery, and so you don't feel that I have given the whole film away. 

The film manages to balance comedy and dramatic misfortune very well, providing a lot of laughs with a lot of 'them feels man' . This was quite a surprise as I was expecting the film to be primarily comedic in value, but it did have some beautiful moments.

Other moments however, did not hit quite as hard as they should. A personal favorite of mine, is when 'Debbie' asks 'Pete' "Why am I crying like this", but there were no tears in sight, this was only emphasized when she tried to wipe away her nonexistent tears. This took me right out of the moment that they were trying to create, which is a shame, as if it were done correctly, it would have been perfect.

The final point I have to make of the film, is that it lacks an emotional climax to end on. While some have hated this, I personally like this, as I feel it's the message that the film has been trying to convey. Nothing really ends, it just keeps going, life is not full of emotional climaxes, it usually just trudges on and on while you try and keep your head above the water.



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