After casting his wife in kids in two films ("Knocked Up" and "Funny People"), Judd Apatow is rounding out his oeuvre of this-is-actually-my-life with the upcoming "This Is 40."

The comedy, a spinoff of the aforementioned "Knocked Up," follows scene-stealers Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their up and down married life. (Original stars Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl are not expected to appear, though Jason Segel will reprise his role.)

"This Is 40" picks up a few years after the last film, with Pete's musical label in trouble, meaning Debbie's dress shop -- staffed hilariously by Megan Fox and consummate awkward girl Charlyne Yi --becomes an essential part of the household income.

"It's the kind of stuff about marriage that you don't get to see in movies," Mann told The LA Times. "It's about getting older. What the hell happened? Am I making all the right choices? Is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this it? All of those dreams that you had when you were young, all of the possibilities, when you lock into marriage and kids, do the possibilities dwindle or go away?"

The couple's children, Maude and Iris Apatow, now 14 and 9, also reprise their "Knocked Up" roles as Paul and Debbie's children. (Hopefully they'll still be able to get away with lines like "Blah, blah, blah. He's a prick.")

The real-life family dynamic seems unaffected by Apatow's directing style. Relying heavily on improvised comedy, he shouted one-liners while Mann and Yi filmed a scene about Fox's looks: "She's way hotter than me. It's like having Babe Ruth working at your store," he suggested to Mann.

Naturally, though, Mann and Apatow's 14-year marriage does play a role in the film. "The good moments are me and Judd," Mann said. The bad ones, however: "Oh, those are all Paul Rudd and his wife."

We can only imagine a high-five-ready Apatow waiting in the wings.

"This Is 40" hits theaters Dec. 21.

For the full image from the film, click over to the LA Times.
categories Movies