What I’ve Watched

read more about What I‘ve Watched here

This month I’m going to start adding ratings to the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the previous month. I hope this helps solidify my opinion, which, of course, is not based on any understanding of TV or film making.

This month I have some particular thoughts based on a poor review I read of This is 40, so to save space, I’m only providing a rating for the other movies and TV shows.

This is 40

4 out of 5 stars

I really LOVED this movie. I thought Knocked Up was good, but this was so much better. I really liked the focus of Pete and Debbie’s dysfunction.

So, of course, not everyone is going to love the movie, but it seems like Meghan Daum from The New Yorker just didn’t get it. Her main issue seems to deal with Pete and Debbie’s nice home and cars because two 40-year-olds who had their first kid at 27 wouldn’t be able to afford those things in LA. While that’s not necessarily a bad argument in general, it does miss several key points:

  1. It’s, in essence, a criticism of every movie and TV show ever. Characters always live in a nicer home, drive a nicer car and wear nicer clothes than their real life counterpart could afford. Criticizing just this movie for this is silly.
  2. Pete had a successful career at Sony in the first movie. We learn in this movie that he had lost that job before starting his own label, but it’s entirely possible that they could afford the home on his Sony salary.
  3. Debbie’s father, though not present physically in her life, is a successful surgeon. It’s possible that he has helped them out in some way.
  4. We can’t forget about one of the main arguments Pete and Debbie have in the movie: Pete has missed at least one mortgage payment, and they will probably sell the house. Now, I won’t waste a lot of words on Debbie not being involved in the finances, but suffice it to say that I would side eye her till kingdom come in real life.
  5. And, finally, Pete’s father did say he thought the house was too much when they bought it, so they very well could have been living beyond their means for years, and we know that doing so and trying to keep up with the Joneses isn’t uncommon nowadays.

I do want to emphasize that I found the movie mostly realistic although on supersized scale, which is usually the case when one is trying to really turn the camera on our society, so to speak. The events and emotions surrounding the approach to one’s 40th birthday were realistic, although played up and emphasized for the purpose of making a point about the changes in one’s life when he or she hits that milestone. For example, I’m sure no woman who is not a sadist would schedule their annual Pap, colonoscopy, mammogram and dental appointment in the same month, but the inclusion of all of these provided a number of laughs.

Portlandia Winter Special

4 out of 5 stars

How to Train Your Dragon

4 out of 5 stars

The Dark Knight Rises

4 out of 5 stars

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

5 out of 5 Stars

The Polar Express

3 out of 5 stars

Impractical Jokers

4 out of 5 stars

Ice Age IV: Continental Drift

4 out of 5 stars

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

3 out of 5 stars


1 out of 5 stars

Royal Pains Winter/Wedding Special

4 out of 5 stars

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

4 out of 5 stars

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

4 out of 5 stars

Have you seen any great movies or TV shows this month? Am I off base in my opinion of This is 40?

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