This is 40 – 0 stars

A Bataan death march of a rom-com. Let me count the ways.

1) As secondary characters in Knocked Up, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann were welcome respites from the manic upheaval of the leads.  As primary characters, they outstay their welcome very quickly.  Mann is a limited, mannered actress without a shred of heart. ready-made for a brief comic turn.  She is also director Judd Apatow’s wife.  He lightens her wispy load by primarily having her repeat the lines of other characters quizzically or allowing her to deliver others with a lilting, sing songy chirp. He also uses his daughters, the younger of whom is charming and genuine and the older of whom is as grating and one-note as her mother.  Nepotism . . .bad!  Rudd’s goofy, sweet smarm is tiresome.  If there was ever an actor who needed to play a villain quick, it’s Rudd.

2) The film is annoyingly haphazard.  Hey, we just ate a marijuana cookie.  Hey, we’re going to the doctors and we have witty things to say as they explore the orifices of our just-turned-40 bodies.  Hey, look at my asshole, honey.  Hey, we have fathers (John Lithgow and Albert Brooks) who do their schtick and both have young children.  Hilarious!

3) It feels as if Apatow let Mann and Rudd riff and most of it lays as flat and listless as a Navy base whore. Apatow definitely let Melissa McCarthy improv in one of the laziest, saddest scenes ever.  How the hell do you make Melissa McCarthy unfunny?

4) Apart from a few laughs provided by secondary characters, this movie is drudgery, and the leads do and say things so odious or stupid that not enough bad things can happen to them to satisfy the viewer.

5) If this couple has been married for 14 years, one of them would have to have been in a coma for 13 of them to avoid a murder-suicide.

6) The movie is over 2 hours long. Brutal.

7) The film confuses sexual frankness and obscenity with the funny, as if saying cock and fuck a lot does the trick.

8) A primary source of marital discord is money, but these people live in a mansion and want for nothing, so they are particularly punch-able.

9) As Dana Stevens of Slate so nicely put it, the flick is as funny as a hemorrhoid.

On the plus side, it features a nice Ryan Adams song. but alas, he has aged as well as the flick.

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