In writer/director Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40,” Paul Rudd’s Pete is in the entertainment business, married to Apatow’s real-life wife, Leslie Mann, and father to their real-life daughters, Maude and Iris. So Apatow casts his own wife and young daughters in an autobiographical look at family-life, and opens with Rudd and Mann naked in the shower having sex. Afterwards, they engage in a vulgar argument over erections.
Later, via webcam, Mann and Rudd watch their employee (Megan Fox) have sex with a stranger in the middle of their clothes store. Far from horrified, they envy her passion … while he farts in bed. Later he gets a rectal exam while she does comedic riffs during a vaginal exam.
And so it goes… for 135 thoroughly unpleasant minutes.
The plot is thinner and shallower than a sitcom, the characters are narcissists; the writing is dirty, not clever; the story is sex-obsessed; and the self-indulgence is apparent in every unfunny, pointless scene that goes on forever about numb vaginas, oral sex, and sitting on the toilet.
Who told Apatow America would want to see his revolting home movie about the sex and money problems that hit Hollywood’s privileged class?
As far as the psychological damage to Apatow’s daughters, that’s for social services to handle. What I can tell you is that “This Is 40” is the most unpleasant experience I have ever had in front of a television, including PBS pledge drives.