This is 40-Something (and Mid-Life Crisis Giveaway)

This is 40In This is 40, the female character played by Leslie Mann is about to turn 40. But she’s not ready.  At a doctor’s appointment, a nurse asks her to clarify her age.  She wrote that she was born in 1972, 1974 and 1976 on different forms. After the nurse, an aid and the doctor drill her to tell the truth, she declares, “OK, I LIE ABOUT MY AGE.” She doesn’t want to shop at old lady stores like Ann Taylor Loft (oy vey, that’s my regular). Unfortunately, she can’t lie at the gyno.  His response: “I know how old you are.  I’m counting your rings!” Of course, he says this as her legs are spread apart and he’s looking down her vagina.

Later at her children’s elementary school, an old lady comes up to her and says, “Are you 40 yet? I remember when I turned 40.  I blinked.  And then I was 90!” Leslie Mann looks dumbfounded.  We can’t turn back time, can we?

Later she tells her husband, played by Paul Rudd, that the happiest period of their lives is NOW between ages 40-60.  They basically have twenty good years left.  She gets down to business and makes a list of how the two of them are going to radically alter their lives to improve their remaining years: Exercise, spend more time alone, see a therapist together, stop stressing, work on anger and have less resentment, stop smoking.

Then we see them both going to the doctor – her mammogram, her annual pap smear, his dreaded prostate exam.

Oh, welcome to the good old days.  When I turned 30, I was living in NYC and I was working in a god-forsaken job with a nightmare boss.  I was in a relationship that was very on/off (he happens to be my husband now) and I was worried that my life was going nowhere.  A year later, I was in a new job, married and going in a new direction.

The truth is that I don’t deal well with entering new decades.  I put a lot of pressure on myself and think that I have a limited time to get things done.  It happened again when I turned 40, only I was in a very different place.  I had kids; I had already spent seven years of dealing with the whole family balance/work issue. My life was no longer my own.

Now like the Leslie Mann character in the film, I deal with children who won’t put electronic toys down, aging parents, financial issues, job and marriage issues and a desire to be happy everyday in the midst of complete and utter chaos.  All this while trying to be a good role model for my children.  I had to laugh when the couple in the film’s oldest daughter, played brilliantly by Maude Apatow, the writer/director’s daughter, cursed the parents and Mann’s character proclaimed, “Where did she learn to talk like that?” Paul Rudd’s answer: “No fucking idea.”

That’s the thing, if everything I do reflects on my children’s future forever more, I’m screwed.  I do the best I can in every area of my life, but I always fall short.  It’s hard to say what my kids want to hear all the time, it’s hard to make the right decision when I have too much on my plate.

And if all that wasn’t enough to deal with, then there’s the going grey, developing a middle age spread and going on job interviews where I’m interviewed by 20-30 somethings.  That all kind of sucks.

This is 40 doesn’t touch on any of that (Leslie Mann actually looks WAY too good for her age), but it is a very funny, touching and realistic portrayal of what it’s like to hit 40 as a woman.  Judd Apatow is very intuitive and he practically sees life through the eyes of a woman.  The way he portrays marriage and parenthood hit home and I think I drove my sister talking out loud during the film – “That’s my husband!”… “That’s my daughter!”…”That’s me!” That was my life on celluloid.  I related on so many levels that it would embarrass people in my family if I told you exactly how (some of it had to do with inner body functions).  I don’t embarrass people here on my little blog here, it’s not worth the outcry that might (scratch that, and let’s say has and will) ensue.

And that’s what being 40 is all about – being able to laugh at caricatures of yourself and knowing that at the end of the day, it will be okay. Everyone will survive.

Oh, and don’t blink.

This is 40 premieres on Friday, December 21st in theaters nationwide.

To win a mid-life crisis package that includes a $10 Fandango gift card, a plush robe, a personal fitness kit (ankle weights, hand grips, exercise band & jump rope), and a This is 40 t-shirt, to, all you have to do is comment below and tell me how you feel about the 40s. About to turn 40 or is it years away?

You can get additional entries by doing one of or more of the following:

– Follow The Culture Mom on Facebook.

– Follow The Culture Mom on Twitter.

– Follow The Culture Mom on Pinterest.

This giveaway will end on Christmas Day. Winner will be posted here as well and will have 24 hours to accept their prize.

Disclosure: I went to a preview of This is 40 as a guest of Universal Pictures and was asked to write a piece about being 40, but all opinions are my own. I was not compensated to write this post nor feature the giveaway.

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  1. I follow you on Pinterest.

  2. I follow you on Facebook as Mary Happymommy

  3. I’m 3 years away from turning 40 and I’m nervous about it.

  4. Oh!! Glad to hear it was a positive review. I can’t say that the previews made me want to see it (I sort of hate toilet scenes) but I love all the actors so relieved to hear good things.

    I’m turning 36 soon–like in a week–and I feel that “closer to 40 than 30 thing.” Plus, my husband turns 40 soon so I’ve been planning his party. It feels VERY grown up around here now . . . aging parents, few of our grandparents left. Oh– and the skincare and upkeep is ridiculous already at almost 36. It’s like a part time job.

    • Nina, my sister didn’t like it at all – she thought it was self-indulgent. I, on the other hand, laughed out loud the whole time. The husband sits on the toilet playing on the iPad, he farts – all things I can relate to!

  5. You’re doing a great job, don’t knock yourself.

  6. Ellen Gervits says:

    I follow you on facebook

  7. I like you on facebook

  8. I’ll be 40 in two years and I’m not worrying about it. I believe age is a mindset.

  9. I follow you on pinterest

  10. I follow you on twitter

  11. I follow you on facebook

  12. I follow you on fb

  13. One year into my 40’s. Not bad so far, but I’d still rather be 35!

  14. I turned 42 earlier this month but I feel 62. I feel like I am on one of those gerbil wheels and can’t stop. Planning on seeing the movie this weekend

  15. And of course, I follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. 🙂

  16. I will be 47 on Sunday the 23rd and I am loving being in my 40’s – they are truly the best decade of my life. I feel happy and secure and I don’t doubt myself and my choices. I feel like I’m just starting to really live.

  17. I am 40 and honestly, this is the best time of my life. My life is not perfect. I have a failed marriage and rent my apartment, but I am raising a happy and healthy beautiful 7-year old boy, I am in the best shape of my life, I make time for myself, work 2 jobs that I thoroughly enjoy and financially can do most of what I want as well as help others who need it. I am optimistic about the next 40 years and realize age is truly just a number.

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