The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
With the 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, writer-director Apatow has established an enviable record of filthy but funny film-making.
Here, dissecting the effect of approaching 40th birthdays on typical suburban US husband and wife Pete and Debbie (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann), Apatow takes sharp swipes at mores in that country. But he never forgets he's making a comedy.
Debbie refuses to acknowledge she's turning 40 - she has 38 on her birthday cake - and it doesn't help, either, that sex with Pete in the shower turns out unsatisfactorily.
They're growing apart and she feels justified in telling Pete that she doesn't want to "investigate your anus." Pete is equally stressed because, having lent money to his feckless father, finances are strained and his record label with its past-it musicians is languishing. Worse, Debbie becomes pregnant.
The characters, their lives and their milieu are sharply and comically observed. Great and scabrous gags fly fast and furious and the dialogue hits the target time and again.
Good taste may be nowhere to be seen. But the comedy is acute and telling.