This is 40 – 0 stars

This is shit.  A Bataan death march of a rom-com. For several reasons.

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.

2) Mann is a limited, mannered actress without a shred of heart.  She’s 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.

3) Rudd’s goofy, sweet smarm has also outworn its welcome.  Apatow has written a douchebag character and chose the “go to” douchebag actor to play him. If there was ever an actor who needed to play a villain quick, it’s Rudd.

4) The film is annoyingly haphazard.  Hey, we have 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, we have fathers (John Lithgow and Albert Brooks) who do their schtick and both have young children.

5) It feels as if Apatow let Mann and Rudd riff. Most of it is not funny. He definitely let Melissa McCarthy improv in one of the laziest, saddest scenes ever.

6) Apart from a few laughs provided by secondary characters, this movie is not funny or illuminating, and the characters are for the most part so odious or stupid that not enough bad things can happen to them to satisfy the viewer.

7) If this couple has been married for 14 years, one of them had to have been in a coma for 13 of them.

8) It’s over 2 hours long. Brutal.

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

10) Or, as Dana Stevens of Slate so nicely put it, as funny as a hemmorhoid.

On the plus side, it features a nice Ryan Adams song.

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