Some films are not worthy of the mental gymnastics to critique, or discuss; cutting to the chase, this is a prime example of directorship/writing (Judd Apatow) gone rogue!
I remember 40; it’s been awhile but having limber retentive skills I can reminisce about the “times of yesteryear”; when marriage, children, merited respect, civility and a modicum of maturity, or at least the pretence of adulthood.
In this horrific scenario “Debbie” (Leslie Mann) and “Pete” (Paul Rudd) are children from Hades, cloaked in grown- up facades; their marriage is a sham; existing on primal instincts. Their daughters, “Sadie” (Maude Apatow) and “Charlotte” (Iris Aptow) listen to their foul-mouthed fights and naturally mimic the cacophony of vituperative verbalization.
Debbie’s naked stare, speaking in the cadence of a twelve-year-old, naively repeating asked questions, seemed afflicted with some form of Aspergers. Pete, struggling to maintain his fledgling record company uses his wife as an emotional punching bag; their communication skills, lacking the intelligence, prescience of a five-year-old.
Just when I thought the film could not sink any deeper into a miasma of mediocre muck, we’re confronted with a scene that erases all boundaries of good taste; Debbie in the most scathing, vulgar tirade, lacerates a thirteen-year-old boy, bringing him to tears and the audience to groans; no decent, self-respecting person would ever speak to a child in this disgraceful, disgusting, sickening display of diminished moral accountability.
If “This is 40”, it’s terrifying!