Watching 'This is 40' in Your 40s is Familiar, Sad, and Depressing

Watching 'This is 40' in Your 40s is Familiar, Sad, and Depressing

5 min read

Because this is the way my mind works, I've wanted to rewatch This is 40 since I turned 40. Partly to judge the accuracy of the 2012 film, which I last saw when I was in my early 30s, and thus, still safely cocooned in the immortality of youth. It was easy to laugh at Paul Rudd's boner problems when I was young and virile. Would the movie be as funny now that I was on the wrong side of 40?

I was also interested because writing about movies means you're forever on the lookout for a fun angle. I'm not suggesting that "these are my thoughts on This is 40 now that I am a feeble old man" is revolutionary, but it's more interesting than "here's a film review of a 12 year-old movie you probably watched and forgot about." I don't even do traditional film reviews, in part because I don't consider myself qualified for the job. I didn't go to film school. I'm not a journalist. I'm just a guy who enjoys movies and thinks about them way too much.

"Write what you know" is cliched advice, but also true.

I probably can't tell you where a movie fits thematically fits into a director's filmography, or how a cinematographer uses the camera to paint the story, or any of another dozen technical details. I know a good dick joke when I hear it. I know Leslie Mann is perhaps the most underrated comedian of her generation. And I know what 40 feels like.1

This is 40 is a strange movie. It's funny, but I wouldn't exactly call it a comedy. Even dramedy feels inaccurate. The movie is actually a bit depressing, and not even because we're all slowly sloughing toward the grave.