Our couple’s group went on a last winter-break fling at the movies to watch “This is 40”. It stars Paul Rudd (Pete) and Leslie Mann (Debbie), both reprising roles from “Knocked Up” (which I hadn’t seen). Nothing remarkable about this couple other than they both turn 40 days apart from each other and there’s a big party they’re throwing to celebrate. They are the proud parents of two girls–a thirteen year old (Sadie) who is a “Lost” series junkie and an eight-year old (Charlotte) going on 80.
From appearances, this upper middle class family seems like they have it all together. Nice home, both drive luxury cars, and they each have time to take their kids to school and actually walk them to class. Hubby owns his own record label and his wife owns a chic boutique.
Nothing like annoying in-laws to get things going. Pete’s dad is a new father again and expects his son to finance his 2nd family’s expenses and really lays it on thick with the guilt. Debbie’s dad (played by John Lithgow) appears to be the missing iceberg from the North pole and has very little to say during his sporadic appearances in the movie. Throw in a couple of wacky friends, colleagues, and employees and you’ve got a movie.
I have to say that the profanity level was way more than I expected out of a family movie and once you try and get past that, there are meaningful subjects covered. Issues of men’s insecurities in turning 40 is a biggie in this one. Apparently, women at 40 go through a midlife crisis too (smirk)–it’s called wanting to stay 38 forever. I admire this couple’s determination to keep talking things through even when sometimes they arrive at some awful conclusions. They miss the mark several times in blaming others for the faults they have, but thank goodness for decent endings.
My takeaway from this is three things:
–Keep the real conversations going. It may be about debt, raising children, eating habits, whatever it is, just don’t let the silence that eats at so many couples become the norm in my home. Avoid superficial talk and don’t be afraid to get in your spouse’s grits.
–Keep the fires burning. I don’t hear it enough, sex is just not for old people. Taking time away with your spouse is what makes you appreciate what you have when you return back to the humdrum of life. Be creative in what you do. Learn some new tricks and “go in” on that lovemaking.
–Make room for change. Marriage is an organic thing that keeps evolving, whether we want it to or not. Breasts and erections may go south, but acceptance of new seasons in one’s life is what allows each person in the marriage to be comfortable in their own skin.
I’m not big on comedies, but whenever I watch one, I’m reminded as to why laughter is indeed good for the soul. Great conversation starters from this movie! Hope you watch it.