Monday, November 18, 2013

Movie Analysis (Short): This is 40

Why did This is 40 fare so poorly with critics? Some guesses:

  • Apatow-overload and backlash:
    • People seemed to love his earlier films, but later years seem to bring more and more films by Apatow and circle (Seth Rogen, James Franco, etc.)
  • Sequel-(sorta)-itis:
    • People felt this spin-off was double dipping into the well
  • Too long and self-indulgent:
    • Yeah, over 2 hours is too long and yet another drug-use scene to add to the list of similar scenes in other Apatow (and circle) films
  • Too mixed tone:
    • Some of the comedy here is just fun, some of the drama here is just nail-biting relationship stuff--and though there's a profitable overlap in the middle, the movie ping-pongs a bit too much between the two tones (in a way similar to Funny People)
    • It also feels like the opposite of a date movie: you shouldn't watch this with a loved one to laugh and bring you together, but more as a conversation piece where you'll see how different your feelings might be about the issues involved
  • Meandering:
    • Though there's some overarching structure here--it's their birthday week, with a big party coming at the end--there's lots of scenes and issues that give this a sprawling, loose, lived-in feeling. This is sort of Apatow's charm but also part of all his problems: self-indulgent, overly long, too whiplashy tone-switches.
Still, it had some good laughs and some excellent additional casting and some serious reality. If any writers out there want to take seriously the idea of digging deep into their issues, you could do worse than look at how Apatow and friends do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment