I just saw “This is 40” last night on a double-date with my sister and TheBoss. I was hesitant going in because many critics have crushed Judd Apatow’s latest film calling it a sloppy, overlong, self-indulgent mess.
I felt differently though. I found it to be brutally honest and to go for uneasy truths over quick payoffs. And this is the way comedy seems to be headed now. The film feels less like “Knocked Up” and more like a 2.5 hour episode of “Louie.”
There’s a quote in Flavorwire from comedian Mike Birbiglia about how this trend is emerging,
“I’d like to think that we’re part of a comedy movement right now that’s moving away from observational comedy and into something that’s more personal and real. But it’s just one person’s opinion — it’s what I prefer because I feel like it has more heart to it. It’s got more teeth. And I feel like in some ways it’s a response to the Seinfeldian era of comedy, which was observational to a point of brilliance. I mean, Seinfeld did it so well, and there were so many mimeographs of that style, and then at a certain point, those mimeographs became so boring … It’s actually more difficult to just tell your story, and tell it honestly, and admit that you’re wrong about things in a way that’s entertaining.”
I can definitely see this happening. It’s in the Louis CK specials and in Lena Dunham‘s “Girls.” It’s a cool trend and I like where we’re headed.