Yes, people change and drift in and out of each other's lives, but there are some big continuity holes between “Knocked Up” and “This Is 40.” Most of the secondary stories involving Pete's and Debbie's fathers (played by Albert Brooks and John Lithgow, respectively), friends and employees barely resonate, and one club scene in which Debbie enjoys a ladies night out is nearly a rewrite of a similar “Knocked Up” sequence.
Rudd and Mann do play well off one another, and Apatow's daughters are suitably trained in their father's brand of caustic angst, but the material calls for rancor without much resolution.
After more than two hours, “This Is 40” provides few answers to either Pete and Debbie's specific malaise or the general difficulties faced by couples well into their second decade of matrimony. In between the screaming, “This Is 40” screams out for a real sequel to “Knocked Up.” To paraphrase James Brown, it is talking loud and saying almost nothing.
— George Lang
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‘This Is 40'
Starring: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd. (Sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug use)
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