Opening 14 Mar 2013
Writing credits: Judd Apatow
Principal actors: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Sadie Iris Apatow, Jason Segel
This is Judd Apatow’s fourth film and a sort of sequel to Knocked Up (Beim ersten Mal) which was screened five years ago. Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are now married for some years and are heading towards a mid-life crisis. They are preparing their 40th birthday party together, or rather his 40th birthday. Debbie is in denial and will only allow the number 38 to appear on her cake, which not only leaves their children, 8 and 13 years, wondering. It’s a chaotic family with lots of noise and foul language but nobody really listens to each other. Pete hides his financial worries by clowning around and eating far too many cupcakes. Elegant Debbie owns a fancy clothing boutique but her pretty staff is stealing the profits out of the till.
One might laugh about the typical quarrels of a long-married couple and recognise their little fibs but most of the time it is just silly, immature and not particularly funny. Many themes are touched on but not developed more deeply. Hopefully this is not meant to be your typical American family portrait. Having said this, I am sure that Judd Apatow has his faithful followers who will love watching his pretty wife Leslie Mann (as Debbie) and their two daughters, Maude and Iris. The girls convince with their very natural performances. Paul Rudd will have his fans too. (Birgit Schrumpf)