Although it seems like the Judd Apatow laugh factory’s production line has been slowing down in recent years, the fact is that Apatow’s brand of humor has been imprinted on quite a few of the adult comedies that have come out this year alone. Just because he hasn’t directed a film since Funny People, (2009) doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his hands on several other projects. He has served as a producer on The Five-Year Engagement, Wanderlust and is working as a producer on Anchorman 2.
However, this winter sees Apatow’s much-anticipated return to the director’s chair with This is 40, a quasi-sequel to Knocked Up that follows the characters of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) five years later as they turn 40 years old. In the latest trailer that was released a few months ago, we got to see a more evolved and adult sense of humor from Apatow about aging, children, marriage and responsibility, which is the type of humor that he began to cultivate on Funny People.
The newly-released red band featurette, contains many of the same clips as the trailer, but it also features interviews with Apatow and the cast, who give more insight into the characters and what it’s like to turn 40. Rudd, Mann and Apatow talk about keeping up with life’s changes, balancing the responsibilities of work and family as well as maintaining adult relationships.
Apatow obviously draws much of the material from his own life, as he has done in each of his previous films and continues to use his real-life family: including his wife (Mann) and daughters (Maude and Iris Apatow) – who play Pete and Debbie’s children as well as appeared in Knocked Up and Funny People. The film and the humor will most likely benefit from coming out of a real place, but Apatow will face the same challenge he did with Funny People, as he attempts to balance the comedy with the more dramatic moments; something critics felt he did not do so well with his last film.
The film’s comedy will also undoubtedly be bolstered by another ensemble of funny supporting players, including John Lithgow (The Campaign) as Debbie’s father, Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo) as Pete’s father, Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) as the parent of a rival child and Saturday Night Live contributor Rob Smigel as Pete’s friend. Jason Segel (The Five-Year Engagement) will also reprise his role as Jason from Knocked Up and Megan Fox (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) will appear as a young, hot employee of Debbie’s, who makes her self-conscious about her own body.
With an amazing cast, Apatow’s fresh sardonic humor, and what seems to be an uplifting overall tone, This is 40 may be the hilarious crowd-pleaser that Apatow fans have been waiting three years for.
Check out the featurette above and the film when it hits theatres on December 21.