I’ve loved most of Judd Apatow’s movies. The 40 Year Old Virgin is one of my fav movies ever. As a feminist I’ve looked past his clear male-gaze obsession and I’ve found him to be generally, well, if not kind to women, at least not brutally misogynistic.
From the previews, I believed I would identify with the movie. Long term couple that bickers frequently and stresses about money? CHECK. Young kid in the house limited couple time and depriving you of privacy? CHECK. Adult parents that also need some juggling and managing? CHECK.
But I hated the movie so much. Seriously, it was like being punched in the face for two hours. I wish I’d gone to see the makes-everyone-squirm DJango instead. I would have left the theater in a better mood.
So what was the problem? Let me see… here’s a few things (spoilers only if you live under a rock and haven’t seen the previews).
Paul Rudd crying about financial struggles while parked in his the-hottest-and-most-recent BMW.
Leslie Mann bemoaning her (ridiculously gorgeous) body while fondling Megan Fox’s breasts.
The horrid bullying and abuse of a boy their daughter likes.
The horrid bullying and abuse of the boy’s mother when she tries to fight for him.
The long, long discussion of a side character about her “c-section nerve damage” that involved not being able to feel it if she straddled a fire hydrant.
The god-awful way Albert Brook’s character treated his triplets.
I won’t say I never laughed, and I won’t say I never identified. I did. About 20% of the time I was mildly amused, and some of the general long-term relationship struggles stuff was very familiar. The rest of the time, I just hated everyone. But then, having every character in a comedy be a hateful asshole is the standard today (THANKS, SEINFELD!). I can’t remember the last comedy I saw where I really liked the characters.
Maybe my expectations are too high. I dunno.
Did you see it? What did you think?