Judd Apatow has made his directing career out of telling human stories that resonate with a lot of real emotion, while also being extremely funny comedies. He has a signature style that continues to shines through in his latest effort, This Is 40, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD today, Friday, March 22nd.
This particular outing allowed him to once again work with his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two children Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow, in telling the continuing story of married couple Deb and Pete (Paul Rudd), whom we met in Judd Apatow’s previous comedy Knocked Up. Here, the husband and wife are struggling to make ends meet while keeping their relationship afloat. Its Judd Apatow’s most personal film to date, and a welcome entry in his long and storied career as both a writer and a producer.
We recently caught up with both Judd Apatow and his wife Leslie Mann to talk about the movie’s reception with critics, one of whom Judd had a very public battle with, and how their kids influence some of the choices they make in their careers as artists.
Will we see Pete and Deb again in another movie somewhere down the line? Here is our conversation with one of Hollywood’s most beloved and grounded couples.
I read a lot of the reviews that came out when the film was in theaters, and it seemed like reactions were all over the map. Which, to me, means the movie is really striking a cord with people. When you don’t see it sway completely to the left or right. Some people hate it. Some people love it. I take that as a sign the movie was done right.
Leslie Mann: Yeah, I think that’s good. I think that means we’ve done a good job. It seems a little strange. But good. I think we did a good job if people are able to have heated discussions about it. And care to have heated discussions about it. And disagree, and feel passionately about it, then great.
I think some of the negative reviews came from people who couldn’t stomach watching it. Some of the movie is a little bit hard to sit through. Especially if you are going through tough times in your own relationship.
Leslie Mann: Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. I can see that. Those people shouldn’t watch it. (Laughs) If they are going to have a hard time stomaching it, their relationship is clearly on the wrong path. (Laughs)
Maybe it’ll help them out. Maybe they will squeeze their eyes shut through the beginning, but stick with it…
Leslie Mann: Maybe…Wait, what’s in the beginning that’s hard to stomach?
Some of the fights, and the arguments. If you are going through something with somebody, this is not a fun time. This isn’t the movie to take your mind off your problems. But it helps. It’s therapeutic in some ways.
Leslie Mann: I say, don’t be such a puss. (Laughs) Don’t be such a fucking pussy!
That’s what the tagline of the movie should have been. Don’t be such a fucking pussy! Just sit down and watch it!
Leslie Mann: Maybe you should just watch this fucking movie, you fucking pussy! (Laughs)
I hope you aren’t talking to me. I don’t have a problem stomaching the fights in the movie. I’m purely going off some of the complaints I’ve read about the movie.
Leslie Mann: I like the movie, so…I’m really happy with it. If I’m not happy with it, which has happened before, then I believe all of that stuff. It might get me down. But if I genuinely like something, then I really don’t care. Not if somebody says something negative about it.