This Is 40 is only the fourth feature film directed by Apatow (following The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Funny People), but he has tickled our funny bones onscreen as a producer (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Bridesmaids) and a writer (Fun with Dick and Jane, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pineapple Express).
Lauren (co-screenwriter Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie
(Ari Graynor), college enemies who years later are forced to live
together in a beautiful NYC apartment neither can afford, start up a
phone sex business that takes off and creates unanticipated
A group of young women balance life, love
and work as they try to make their mark on New York City. Sound
familiar? But where Carrie and Co. represented an embellished fantasy of glamorous, high-powered, sexualized New Yorkers, HBO’s Girls offers a more realistic view of entering adulthood as a 21st century female.
Writer/director Judd Apatow raises the stakes on his already stellar formula for generating laughs with a comedy that's equal parts sincerity and wit. This is by far Adam Sandler's best movie because Apatow writes comic set pieces that allow germs of humor to expand between the more obvious laughs that Sandler hits with sharp-shooter accuracy. Grade: A-.
Hetero-male love is in full bloom in Hollywood, and it seems that a huge amount of credit belongs to filmmakers Kevin Smith and Judd Apatow. They've presented a whole generation of pre- and post-metrosexual men who forsake the products and the preening for a more genuine expression of themselves and their comfort with each other, and 'I Love You, Man' is their latest movie to test these waters. Grade: C.