For Leslie Mann, 'This is 40' a family affair

The Fresno BeeMarch 21, 2013 

For "This is 40," available on DVD today, actress Leslie Mann spent a lot of time with her family. The film was written and directed by her husband, Judd Apatow, and it features the couple's real daughters.

"It was fun being around my family," Mann says. She laughs and adds, "We did learn that it's not fun every day and we need breaks from each other."

The film looks at the characters Mann and Paul Rudd played in the 2005 film "Knocked Up." The spinoff wasn't a surprise to Mann. Apatow has done them before, following up "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" with "Get Him to the Greek."

For Mann, the biggest problem with working with her two daughters -- Maude and Iris -- was bouncing between giving the best performance possible and being a mom worried about how well her daughters were doing.

At first glance, "This is 40" looks to be a parallel of Mann's life. In life and in the film: she's a wife and mother of two daughters; she has just turned 40; and has had to deal with an estranged father. Despite the similarities, Mann never looked at the production as being the story of her life.

"The things that this couple are struggling with are universal," Mann says. "It's the kind of things that most people deal with in their lives. There are places where we take it to the extreme, but I believe it's a film everyone can relate to."

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter.

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