Comedy/Drama, 134 Minutes, 2013
This is Judd Apatow’s [IMDB] “sort-of sequel” to 2007’s “Knocked Up” [IMDB], the growing-up comedy about accidental pregnancy. This features two of the secondary characters, married couple Pete (Paul Rudd [IMDB]) and Debbie (Leslie Mann [IMDB]). Like that film and his last big film, 2009’s “Funny People” [IMDB] this movie is very well done, features a horde of insanely talented people and is long. Really, quite long.
For a slice of life movie, the characters are difficult to empathize with. It’s not that their problems are unreasonable, but rather that they’re a bit… plastic, maybe? These are beautiful people complaining about their bodies. They have money problems but lack for nothing. They’re the emotional equivalent of the “hollywood ugly” girl who only needs to take off her glasses and let her hair down to be beautiful. Since the movie is so long, we spent a lot of time with these problems but they always feel rather superficial.
The pacing causes some of these problems. We’re given a very short timeline up front – a birthday party taking place shortly – but then so much happens. We have school issues, take a weekend getaway and follow through several events being produced by Pete. Pete’s business is failing and Debbie’s business is failing. Both are having multiple personal crises and are constantly, unintentionally, at odds with one another. In the nearly two hours it takes to get us to the party, it feels like weeks or even months have passed by.
There’s a lot of talking and several topics are re-hashed multiple times. Many of the gags, while good, are stretched to a breaking point. As a slice of life movie some may be disappointed with the open-ended ending. It offers hints of solutions without providing solutions. Luckily the movie puts this off for as long as it possibly can. Because it’s very, very long.