Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star as Pete and Debbie in the ‘Kind-Of’ sequel to Knocked Up, ‘This is 40’. The couple try and work through life’s problems and whether they still love each other as they get to the milestone of 40.
Knocked up was hugely popular when it arrived back in 2007. Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen were the two main stars playing unlikely couple Ben and Alison. Alison falls pregnant after a one night stand with Ben and the movie concentrates on her pregnancy as Ben tries to do what’s right. It was a hilarious film and Alison’s sister and brother in law Debbie and Pete provided many laughs with their dysfunctional relationship and how they coped with their two young daughters. I think when it was announced that there was a sequel it was interesting to see that it would concentrate on Debbie and Pete. It is a shame they couldn’t have Katherine and Seth back to play their parts as it would be interesting to see where they are in their lives. Although Pete mentions seeing Ben at Christmas so they are likely to be still together. Debbie showed signs in the first film of being upset about being old and we even saw her sure that Pete was cheating on her.
This new film was directed and created by the humorous Judd Apatow, who also directed and wrote the first film. He is in fact Leslie aka Debbie’s husband and the two girls in the film’s real father which I thought was quite interesting. The film begins with Debbie’s 40th birthday, although she is depressed at the fact of turning 40 and refuses to have a joint party with her husband. In fact, the cake even has 37 on it, so that she can try and forget it. We see the girls, who are the same ones as in the first film, have grown up with the oldest Sadie now a teenager and Charlotte now 8 years old. The pair are hilarious together as Sadie obsesses over ‘Lost’ and her younger sister tries to get her attention. It’s also hilarious when the pair are shouting at the door when Debbie and Pete are in the middle of an intimate act and this was one of the funniest moments of the film. We see that Debbie now has her own fashion store with employees Desi, who is played by Megan Fox and also Jodi played by Charlyne Yi working for her. It was funny seeing Megan in such a funny role and I actually thought she was quite good. Debbie can’t figure out where the money keeps going as they are losing so much and through this she ends up finding out that Desi is an escort and her explanation is hilarious. Pete now owns a record label but is also failing to earn much. We see Debbie and Pete go away overnight for her birthday and it’s the first time we see them really happy together. However, soon as they get back, madness restarts and Debbie decides that she needs to change their lives after a lady at school said ‘you blink and your 90’. They remove all technology in the house which doesn’t go down well with Sadie. Pete also tries to tell his good-for-nothing dad that he needs to stop giving him money but he manages to squirm out of it. He’s quite funny how he manipulates Pete and how he treats his ‘unwanted’ triplets.
As the story progresses, we find out more about Debbie’s relationship with her father who was never around for her and has a new family. She also has a ‘surprise’ which is a shock for the audience and you spend the next part of the film wondering when she is going to tell Pete. The film develops with Pete and Debbie falling out many times and wondering whether they would have ever stayed together if it wasn’t for her first pregnancy. The film was really hilarious at parts especially when Debbie and then Pete confront a boy and his mum who is bulling their daughter. The mum who is played by Melissa McCarthy is hilarious and the couple’s arguments with her were a highlight of the film. Pete’s 40th birthday was quite funny and it ended really nicely. I love the chemistry between Leslie and Paul and the girls and I felt the film was very real and very easy to relate to. The only things that fall short is the time of the film which was very long and the film did seem to repeat itself with Debbie and Pete falling out and making up again. The storyline didn’t feel strong enough to last that amount of time.
However, I really enjoyed the film and think Leslie and Paul are brilliant. I think Knocked up will still remain my favourite but This is 40 is still a great comedy film.