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Film / This Is 40

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This is 40 is a 2012 comedy/drama film, and the fourth film written and directed by Judd Apatow. It is a Spin-Off (or, as the trailer states, a "sort-of sequel") to Knocked Up, following Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) five years after the events of that movie as they deal with the complications of married life, their kids growing up, and the fact that they're both turning 40.

This film provides examples of:

  • AM/FM Characterization: Pete makes many references to bands, mainly The Pixies. An abstract painting in his office displays members of Nirvana. He also wears band t-shirts throughout the film, such as Pavement and Bob Mould. A majority of the bands mentioned within this movie are from The '90s.
  • As Himself: Billie Joe Armstrong and Graham Parker, among others.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Not at first, though.
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  • Big Eater: Pete's body issue is that he loves junk food and only pretends to give it up.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: It's a Judd Apatow film, what did you expect? One prominent example comes for a scene involving Melissa McCarthy.
  • Coming of Age Story: A minor sideplot with the eldest daughter.
  • Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: Pete gives his mooch father an original drawing by John Lennon worth at least $5,000. His father only complains that it's a bad picture and it's too much work to sell it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Seems to happen anywhere Desi is.
  • Doing It for the Art: In universe, Pete only wants to work with real musicians and will not sign someone based on looks alone to make money.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Jodi at first appears to be the honest but unskilled saleswoman at the store. It turns out that she's a drug-addicted, lying thief.
  • Fanservice: Desi stripping down to her underwear to be fondled by Debbie, though at least that scene ties into Debbie's character arc. The underwater shot of Desi swimming in her bikini and getting ogled by the guys is purely fanservice.
    • Debbie showing off her breasts in two scenes, although one of those is Played for Laughs.
  • Informed Judaism: Pete is stated several times to be Jewish, though it doesn't factor into his character or decisions at all. His father, played by Albert Brooks, is more stereotypically Jewish in mannerisms, however.
  • Jerkass: A lot of people in the movie, especially Pete and Debbie but not to a point where they are Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist.
  • Milestone Birthday Angst: Pete and Debbie are having a stressful time in their marriage, which is not helped by how they're both about to turn 40. They have to deal with their difficult daughters, aging parents, and troubles with their jobs around this important time.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Desi, naturally.
  • Oh, Crap!: Happens when Barb accidentally blurts out in front of Pete and the girls that Debbie is pregnant.
  • Pet the Dog: Pete's father has an endearing moment with Debbie at the hospital, but he's still a mooch.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • From Sadie to her parents.
    • Debbie uses one during the passive-aggressive argument she has with Pete.
  • Product Placement: The number of Apple products that feature prominently in this film borders on the ridiculous.
  • Shout-Out: Pete mentions Fargo when jokingly saying he'd kill Debbie with a woodchipper.
  • Take That!: Sadie does this to Mad Men.
  • That's What She Said: Gender flipped. When receiving a colon exam, the doctor tells Debbie that he has the camera four feet in. Debbie giggles and replies, "That's what he said."
  • The Stinger: An outtake of Melissa McCarthy's ranting during the meeting with the school principal.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ben and Alison from Knocked Up never make an appearance, even for Pete's birthday party. What happened to them? All we know is that Pete got the weed cookies from Ben. Debbie and Alison's father never even mentions Alison.
    • Judd Apatow actually shot a scene that reveals Ben and Alison live in Atlanta with Allison working at CNN. Apatow ended up cutting it because it was only done for the fans and he felt it was unnecessary.