Alison: I'm pregnant.
Ben: Pregnant... with emotion?
Alison: Pregnant with a baby.
is a 2007 romantic comedy directed by Judd Apatow
(The 40-Year-Old Virgin
), starring Seth Rogen
, Observe and Report
) and Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy
, Twenty Seven Dresses
Ben Stone (Seth Rogen
) is a carefree stoner
who lives with his eccentric group of friends
. He has no job, no money, and very little ambition. In fact, his main concerns in life are getting high, and working on a website that he and his buddies designed which catalogs the nude scenes of female celebrities in popular cinema. Little does he know that his life is about to be irrevocably changed when he goes out to a club one night and meets...
Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl), who is an up and coming entertainment journalist for the E! television network, out celebrating her recent promotion to an on-camera position. Though young and attractive, Allison has had little time for dating as her focus has been entirely on work
and advancing her career. The two meet while trying to get the attention of the club's bartender, and they hit it off. Several hours (and many drinks) later, a tipsy Allison invites Ben home with her, where they have what they believe to be a drunken one-night stand
The next morning, Ben and a remorseful Allison say their good-byes, thinking that they will never see each other again. This plan is drastically altered when, 8 weeks after her encounter with Ben, Allison starts feeling ill in the mornings and she panics when she realizes that she missed her period last month. A few dozen pregnancy tests later, her worst fears are confirmed: she's pregnant, and the only man that could possibly be the father is the last man she would ever see herself having a long-term relationship with.This Is 40
is a Spin-Off
movie or "sort-of sequel" written and directed by Apatow that follows the lives of Allison's sister Debbie (Apatow's real life wife Leslie Mann) and her husband Pete (Paul Rudd
) five years later. It was released in December 2012.
This film provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: Jonah in a deleted scene.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Over the course of the film, Allison's pregnancy transforms Ben from a hopeless stoner with no future into an at least passable father figure.
- A better example of Tropes Are Not Bad than most uses of this one though. The movie takes great pains to show that Ben has to really work to sort out his life, instead of simply becoming a father and fixing his life instantly. It's more of a low-key version of Earn Your Happy Ending.
- Binge Montage: Ben and Pete on mushrooms in Las Vegas, complete with a Fish Eye Lens effect during the Cirque du Soleil show.
- Blowing Smoke Rings: Ben is blowing one in the opening scene.
- Brain Bleach: "I shouldn't have gone in there!"
- But We Used a Condom: While Ben was drunkenly fumbling to put a condom on before their encounter, he misread Allison's frustrated protest of "Just do it already!" to mean something else entirely.
- Chekhov's Skill: Ben eventually gets around to read the baby books and impresses Allison when she falls in labor and calls for his help.
- Improv: Much of the dialogue was improvised by the actors or fed to them in the moment by Judd Apatow just before a take.
- Clean Pretty Childbirth: Played straight; while it does show a crowning vagina twice, no blood or other liquids or solids are shown.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Ben's rant at the missing doctor. Just when Allison is going into labor.
Ben Stone: Hey Doc Howard, Ben Stone calling, guess what the fuck's up? Allison is going into labor and you are not fucking here, you know where you're at? You're at a fucking Bar Mitzvah in San Francisco you motherfucking piece of shit, and you know what I'm gonna have to do now? I'm going have to kill you, I'm gonna pop a fucking cap in your ass. You're dead, you're Tupac, you are fucking Biggie you piece of shit, I hope you fucking die or drop the chair and kill that fucking kid... I hope your plane crashes, peace fucker!
- Coming-of-Age Story: Ben is almost hopelessly immature in the beginning of the film, but he soon has to face the reality of being a parent.
- Could Say It But: Allison clarifying that the producers are asking her to lose weight. "No, no, legally we can't ask you to do that. Just make it...tighter."
- Creative Closing Credits: Baby photos of the cast and crew are shown during the closing credits.
- Dueling Movies: Discussed In-Universe. Ben mentions several movies that came in pairs: Volcano and Dantes Peak, Deep Impact and Armageddon, Wyatt Earp and Tombstone.
- Exact Words: "Just do it already!"
- Five-Man Band: Ben and his friends as much as a group of stoners can be
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Allison's mother mentions the possibility of abortion, but she decides to bring the baby to term.
- Hollywood Homely: Ben is played by the fairly attractive Seth Rogen
- Hollywood Pudgy: In-universe example. When Allison's boss gives her a promotion, he asks her to "tighten up", aka lose weight. Allison is by no means pudgy.
- The guy from American Idol playing...well...Himself. But doing one of his other jobs.
- It's Been Done: The protagonists work for moths on a website where one could check on celebs to look up movies/shows where they go nude, including the relevant time marks. Then somebody comes a long to tell them that there is already such a website.
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: Ben reacts like this to Pete when latter calls his movie business "porn".
- Law of Inverse Fertility: All it takes is a one-night-stand.
- Let's Just Be Friends: Allison suggests this to Ben at some point.
- Meaningful Name: Ben Stone.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Pete.
- Mood Whiplash: Purposefully invoked while Ben and a heavily pregnant Alison are trying to have sex. Ben is afraid that he'll hit the baby in the head with his penis, and after convincing her to go doggie-style ("we don't have to go outside or anything") he feels the baby kick his hand and freaks out. All very amusing, but the scene ends with a distraught Alison promising him that he'll never have to do it again.
- Morning Sickness: The vomiting Machete happens while the female lead is conducting an interview with James Franco, who assumes it's a prank.
- Nobody Thinks It Will Work: He's an overweight pothead layabout. She's a hot media figure. They are both the best thing to ever happen to each other.
- No Pregger Sex: Ben has this fear in the middle of doing the deed.
- That didn't stop him from multiple attempts, of course...
- Pædo Hunt: Debbie uses the internet to locate registered sex offenders in the neighborhood, convinced that they pose a threat.
- Precision F-Strike: While the movie has really filthy dialogue, hearing Ryan Seacrest curse in the movie is really surprising.
- "Well..fuck!" by Paul Rudd's character who barely curses in the movie.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "My room, your area, stay in your area, stay out of my room, back... the... fuck... off."
- Second-Act Breakup. Between Allison and Ben, as she thinks they are not made for another.
- Shiksa Goddess: Allison to Ben.
- Spiritual Successor: Rumor has it that this film became this when scheduling conflicts prevented it from being a direct sequel to the successful Apatow film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which Rogen had a supporting role in.
- The Stoner: Martin and his girl friend Jodi are prime examples.
- Take That: In a deleted scene, Jonah goes off on a big spiel about how pretentious Brokeback Mountain is.
- "Matthew Fox, you know what's interesting about him, right? Nothing."
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: A variant involving gynecologists. Allison and Ben are seeing several doctors to find the right one.
- Three-Month-Old Newborn: Attempted aversion/bizarre example: Judd Apatow wanted to shoot an actual birth; Anne Hathaway is said to have turned down the project because of this. Apatow abandoned this plan when he realized that he would need a worker's permit for the unborn child.
- Time Passage Beard: Martin, due to The Bet. By the length of his beard we can tell how far the pregnancy is.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A pretty big example, with the chubby Ben Stone also being a gigantic loser in addition to being far less attractive than Katherine Heigl. This doesn't help the perceptions that the movie is sexist.
- Although the movie is aware enough to point this out (Ben even remarks "You're prettier than I am!") and most of the characters wonder What Does She See in Him?. It is one of the film's strengths in that it does a good job showing their relationship all the way, in that Allison is willing to give him a chance and Ben does his best to be there for her once he gets the news about being an impending father.
- Ben is arguably a Big Beautiful Man who makes no effort with his appearance.
- Viva Las Vegas: Ben and Peter are have a good time there.
- Watch It Stoned: Used in-story when, during their Vegas jaunt, Ben and Pete take psychedelic mushrooms before seeing Cirque du Soleil's Mystere.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: After a night of hard drinking, Ben doesn't remember anything.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- After spending much of the movie keeping the sex of the baby under wraps per Allison's request, Ben purposely tells her what it is during a heated argument just to stick it to her.
- His "Fuck you hormones" speech after she made him walk three miles to the hospital definitely qualifies.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Fan boy actually. One of Jonah's major complaints about Brokeback Mountain in the deleted scene is the significant lack of graphic sex between the two leads.