Occasionally, you go up again for a few out-loud laughs, but, then, within seconds or minutes, you dive down once more. And, by “depths,” I mean the film turns sour… sometimes even swarmy…unless things like watching a colonoscopy on an operating room monitor is your idea of fun.
The problem is the males…both the roles and the actors playing them. While Leslie Mann, the Apatow girls, Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi and most all the other females portray humans of value and play them well, the male roles are mostly losers with some played quite badly. The normally enjoyable Paul Rudd does nothing to make the lead role in any way engaging and Albert Brooks gives an embarrassingly poor showing as his father.
While the ending is supposed to be an up, I walked out feeling sorry for the wife and her daughters, who would have to continue living with their “putz” of a father. I was hoping that the title was secretly meant to be This is 40 in L.A.; that, perhaps, the family tragedy depicted might somehow be limited. But, alas, I know that is only my fantasy.
I give This is 40 a 4 for the ups and a 2 for the downs, and, therefore, an average 3 out of 5 overall.