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This Is 40

This Is 40
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Judd Apatow
Produced by Judd Apatow
Clayton Townsend
Barry Mendel
Written by Judd Apatow
Based on Characters 
by Judd Apatow
Starring Paul Rudd
Leslie Mann
John Lithgow
Megan Fox
Albert Brooks
Music by Jon Brion
Cinematography Phedon Papamichael
Edited by Brent White
David L. Bertman
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • December 21, 2012 (2012-12-21)[1]
Running time 133 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[3]
Box office $88,058,786[3]

This Is 40 is a 2012 American spin-off comedy film written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow. It is a stand-alone sequel to the 2007 film Knocked Up and stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. Filming was conducted in mid-2011, and the film was released in North America on December 21, 2012. The film follows the lives of middle-aged married couple Pete and Debbie as they each turn 40, with their jobs and daughters adding stress to their relationship.

This Is 40 received generally mixed reviews from critics who praised its acting, and cast, as well as the film's very comedic moments and perceptive scenes, but criticized the film's overlong running time and occasional aimlessness. As of March 30, 2013, sequel ideas are hinted at by director Judd Apatow.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Release 4
    • Box office 4.1
    • Critical reception 4.2
  • Accolades 5
  • Home media 6
  • Sequel 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The film begins with couple Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd), first seen in Knocked Up; they are having sex on Debbie's 40th birthday. Pete reveals that he took a Viagra given to him by his friend Barry (Rob Smigel); this enrages Debbie and they stop. Debbie is angered that she is turning 40.

After five years, Debbie owns a boutique with Desi (Megan Fox) and Jodi (Charlyne Yi) working for her. Pete owns his own record label, with his friends Ronnie (Chris O'Dowd) and Cat (Lena Dunham) working with him. Pete's business is struggling financially as he promotes the reunion of Graham Parker & The Rumour. The couple also are having to deal with their daughters; Sadie, a young teenager, and eight-year-old Charlotte. For Debbie's birthday, the couple goes on a romantic weekend to a resort. There they get high from eating "special cookies", and fantasize out loud about ways they would kill each other.

After speaking with her friends Jason (Jason Segel) and Barb (Annie Mumolo), Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family through exercise, and becoming more connected with their parents. Debbie tells Pete that he needs to stop lending his dad, Larry (Albert Brooks), money, because it is hurting them financially. Pete goes to visit him, but is unsuccessful at giving him the news, and still agrees to give him money. Meanwhile, Debbie visits her gynecologist (Tim Bagley), and discovers that she is pregnant. She decides not to tell Pete about this. Later, she yells at a student, Joseph (Ryan Lee), who has been taunting Sadie. She yells at him so much that his mother, Catherine (Melissa McCarthy), gets into an argument with Pete. They later have a meeting with the principal, but the couple denies everything that happened. The couple is overjoyed when Catherine starts using the same language they used previously and the principal dismisses them.

One night between the school taunting sequences, Debbie takes Desi out dancing at a club, planning to confront her with her suspicions that she has been stealing money from the store. Debbie and Desi meet several players from the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team at the club. Debbie awkwardly finds out that one of the players wants to hang out with her and possibly sleep with her. She is proud that he wants to have sex with her, but admits that she is married, has two kids, and is pregnant. Afterwards, Debbie drops Desi off at her house and confronts her about the missing money. Desi reveals she is able to afford nice things because she is also an escort. Later, Debbie meets up with Jodi, who confesses that she stole the money to buy Oxycontin. Debbie fires her and leaves. Meanwhile, Pete and Debbie are having to deal with Sadie and Charlotte fighting all the time, which results in arguments between the family.

On Pete's 40th birthday party, he argues with his dad about the money he wants from them. Debbie argues with her dad about not spending too much time in her life, and how his is perfect. Oliver then explains that his life is not perfect, and how he has always cared about her and loved her. Later, Pete overhears Debbie talking about her pregnancy, and rides out of the house on his bicycle in anger. Debbie and Larry then go after Pete, trying to find him. Soon, they find that he wrecked after hitting his head on a car door. Pete then gets into an argument with the driver of the car who then punches him in the belly. Debbie and Larry take Pete to the hospital, where Larry and Debbie reconcile, with Larry advising Debbie that it's because of her, that she keeps the family together. Debbie and Pete talk later and Pete explains that he is actually thrilled about having a third baby, and that he doesn't feel trapped, so the two reconcile. Sometime later, Pete and Debbie are watching a small concert with Ryan Adams performing. Debbie then suggests that Pete should sign him to his label and plan to talk to him as they finish watching the show.[4] After the main credits roll, there's an extended alternate take of Catherine ad-libbing insults during the conversation with Debbie, Pete, and the principal.


Characters from Knocked Up:[5]

Other characters:[6]


The film—Apatow's fourth directorial effort—was announced in October 2010,[14] while he was producing Universal's Wanderlust.


This Is 40 was originally scheduled to be released on June 1, 2012. In May 2011, Universal postponed the release to December 2012, allowing the studio to use that date for their release of Snow White & the Huntsman; the Snow White film was seen as better competition with a rival 2012 Snow White film project, Mirror Mirror, by Relativity Media.[1]

The premiere for This Is 40 was held on December 12, 2012 at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles. The film was released on December 21, 2012, opening in 2,912 locations nationwide.[15][16]

Box office

During its opening weekend, This Is 40 grossed $11.58 million at the domestic box office.[17]

By the end of its theatrical run, This Is 40 grossed approximately $67.5 million at the domestic box office, and approximately $20.5 million at the foreign box office, with a worldwide total of $88,058,786.[3] While it had the lowest opening weekend for any of Apatow's films, it was a greater box-office success than his prior film, Funny People.[18]

Critical reception

This Is 40 received mixed reviews from critics. It currently has 52% positive reviews out of a 201 review total, with a rating of 5.8/10, on Rotten Tomatoes: "Judd Apatow definitely delivers funny and perceptive scenes in This Is 40, but they're buried in aimless self-indulgence."[19] At Metacritic, the film received a score of 58 based on 38 reviews and a user score of 6.9 based on 69 reviews.[20]

Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph gave the film two stars out of five, commending its premise but criticizing its execution. "This Is 40 is a comedy film about the hell of getting older in a place where aging naturally is the last taboo, and I only wish it lived up to that utterly inspired concept...every scene feels like an airbrushed composite of dozens of rambling takes, and 133 minutes is drainingly long for a story this sitcom-slight", he wrote.[21]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three stars out of four, saying "There are big laughs here, and smaller ones that sting. Rudd and Mann are a joy to watch, especially when their comic darts draw blood, as when Debbie tells "charmboy" Pete that inside he's a dick. Cheers as well to a terrific supporting cast, including Melissa McCarthy as a mother from hell, John Lithgow as Debbie's withdrawn father, and the priceless Albert Brooks as Pete's dad, living off his son's dole to support his tow-headed triplets. This Is 40 doesn't build to a catharsis. It sometimes dawdles as it circles the spectacle of a marriage in flux. Yet Pete and Debbie's sparring yields some of Apatow's most personal observations yet on the feelings for husbands, wives, parents, and children that we categorize as love."[22]

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune said "More like This Is Whiny", giving the film two and a half stars out of four. "This Is 40 has its share of clever, zingy material, proving that writer-director Judd Apatow has lost none of his ability to land a punch line with the right, unexpected turn of phrase. 'My boobs are just ... gone,' bemoans Debbie, played by Leslie Mann, comparing hers with those of her employee, played by Megan Fox. Then comes the second line, building smartly on the setup: 'They didn't even say goodbye.' Mann is wonderful, a uniquely skillful comic and dramatic actor—wide-eyed yet merrily devastating when the venom's called for. Rudd can get away with murder on sheer charm. But it's easy, and sort of lazy, to establish jokes and entire scenes built upon mocking somebody's dialect, or the older daughter's obsession with Lost."[23]

Media blog gave the film 3.5 stars citing its overly bloated run time preventing the film from ever becoming one of Apatow's great films but praised the performance of the supporting cast including John Lithgow and Jason Segel.[24]

Richard Roeper gave the film a C- and called the film "a huge disappointment." His main complaint about the film was its running time and most of the unnecessary supporting characters.[25]

However, The New Yorker '​s Richard Brody writes that This Is 40 "is the stuff of life, and it flows like life, and, like life, it would be good for it to last longer."[26]


Date of Ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
June 20, 2013 ASCAP Film & Television Awards Top Box Office Films Jon Brion
Graham Parker
Won [27]
January 10, 2013 Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Comedy Film Nominated [28]
Best Actor in a Comedy Paul Rudd Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Leslie Mann Nominated
March 30, 2014 Empire Awards Best Comedy Nominated [29]
May 3, 2013 Golden Trailer Awards Best Comedy "Trailer 4"
Universal Pictures
Workshop Creative
Nominated [30]
Best Comedy TV Spot "Knocked Up"
Universal Pictures
Best Comedy Poster Universal Pictures
Cimarron Entertainment
October 22, 2012 Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Comedy Award Judd Apatow Won [31]
December 19, 2012 IGN Summer Movie Awards Best Comedy Movie Nominated [32]
December 18, 2012 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Young Actress Maude Apatow Nominated [33]
May 5, 2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Nominated [34]

Home media

This Is 40 was released for Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. on March 22, 2013.[35] It is available for digital download on iTunes, Google Play, and other websites. The Blu-ray version is being sold as a single disc, and also a combo pack, which includes a DVD copy, digital copy, and Ultraviolet. The disc features an unrated and also theatrical version of the film, as well as numerous bonus features.


Director Judd Apatow is considering such a film, shifting the focus off married couple Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and moving it onto their budding teenage daughter Sadie (Maude Apatow). During a recent interview with Getty Images Entertainment (via Hey U Guys), Apatow was questioned about the prospect of a sequel to This Is 40. He admitted to being intrigued by the idea.[36]


  1. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (May 16, 2011). "Snow White Battle Intensifies As Universal Moves Its Pic One Month Before Relativity Rival".  
  2. ^ "This Is 40". British Board of Film Classification. October 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "This Is 40 (2012)". Box Office Mojo. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  4. ^ Olsen, Mark (November 2, 2012). "Judd Apatow shows 'This Is 40' to appreciative LACMA audience". Movies Now.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Apatow, Judd. "This is 40". Screenplay. Archived from the original on 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  6. ^ This Is Forty (2012) - Full cast and crew from
  7. ^ a b Uddin, Zakia (July 8, 2011). "Melissa McCarthy to star in 'Knocked Up' sequel".  
  8. ^ Orange, B. Alan (July 7, 2011). "'"Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Lee Join 'This Is Forty. Movie Web. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Melissa McCarthy On For Apatow's Latest".  
  10. ^ Still, Jennifer (August 5, 2011). "Megan Fox is hilarious in 'Knocked Up' spinoff, says Leslie Mann".  
  11. ^ Malkin, Marc (August 18, 2011). "Knocked Up"Megan Fox Gets .  
  12. ^ Newman, Nick (July 15, 2011). "John Lithgow Joins Judd Apatow’s ‘This Is Forty". The Film Stage. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Markowitz, Andy (September 6, 2011). "Graham Parker and the Rumour are back, Judd Apatow's got 'em". Music Film Web. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (October 29, 2010). "Judd Apatow’s Next Film Just Got a 2012 Release Date".  ,
  15. ^ This Is 40' premiere"'".  
  16. ^ Subers, Ray (December 20, 2012). "Forecast: Eight Nationwide Releases Crowd Theaters This Christmas".  
  17. ^ Strowbridge, C. S. (December 27, 2012). "Christmas Weekend Wrap-Up".  
  18. ^ "Judd Apatow Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  19. ^ "This is 40 Movie Reviews".  
  20. ^ "This Is 40 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More - Metacritic".  
  21. ^ Collin, Robbie (February 14, 2013). "This is 40, review".  
  22. ^ Travers, Peter (December 18, 2012). "This Is 40 | Movie Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ Phillips, Michael (December 20, 2012). "Judd Apatow misses chance to go deeper with 'This Is 40' ★★ 1/2".  
  24. ^ "This is 40 review". Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  25. ^ "This is 40 Review". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  26. ^ Brody, Richard (December 21, 2012). "“This Is 40” and the Meaning of Life".  
  27. ^ "Patrick Doyle Honored at ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards". Film Music Reporter. June 21, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards 2013: Complete List of Nominations".  
  29. ^ Plumb, Ali (February 24, 2014). "The Jameson Empire Awards 2014 Nominations Are Here!". Empire. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  30. ^ "The 14th Annual Golden Trailer Award Nominees". Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  31. ^ Feinberg, Scott (September 12, 2012). "Hollywood Film Awards to Honor Judd Apatow and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Actress (Exclusive)".  
  32. ^ "Best Comedy Movie - Best of 2012".  
  33. ^ Knegt, Peter (December 12, 2012). Les Miserables' Leads Phoenix Film Critics Nominations"'".  
  34. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  35. ^ Strowbridge, C. S. (March 19, 2013). "DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 19th, 2013". The Numbers. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  36. ^ Schaefer, Sandy. "Judd Apatow Planning ‘This Is 40′ Sequel to Complete ‘Knocked Up’ Trilogy". Screen Rant. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 

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