Funny and relentlessly profane, it captures the rut of Judd Apatow’s middle age too well
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during Knocked Up, it’s sort of prequel. Unfortunately, it also shows Apatow falling into repetition. Just as Kaylee pointed up the Harry Potter formula when she was thirteen, she nailed Apatow last week with “they’re funny for an hour, then they get really serious before finishing on a funny note. And they’re fifteen minutes too long.” A respected dramaturge couldn’t be pithier or more accurate.
|Rudd and Mann Playing Around|
|Fathers Lithgow and Brooks|
The main problem for me is that I know many people living paycheck to paycheck and working desperately to survive and I just cannot find a lot of sympathy for these upper-middle class characters. However, as Neil pointed out, the art direction and set design capture the milieu thoroughly. The difference between this and Bridesmaids, which Apatow produced but didn’t write or direct, is that Kristen Wiig’s character was on a precipice and it wasn’t because of self-delusion or selfishness. This is subtly underlined during the end credits when Melissa McCarthy, who plays a righteously ticked off and self-knowing mother of one of their older daughter’s school friends, lays into these two egotistical characters and the school’s Vice-Principal. It’s funny during the movie, but in the credits it’s powerful because McCarthy never breaks and sounds as if she’s improvising, though she sticks resolutely to the script. Rudd and Mann crack up about half way through her tirade and that made me wonder: is this just a set-up?