To paraphrase Bette Davis -- or was it Pete Townshend? -- turning 40 isn't for sissies. But if you feel you absolutely must reach that milestone, you might as well do it in the company of a mature rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter or guitar god who has weathered the storms of midlife and mid-career.
In Judd Apatow's new feature film, "This is 40," which hits theaters Dec. 21, Paul Rudd stars as Pete, a Brentwood A&R man trying to jump-start his life by launching his own record label. One act he's banking on to juice up his struggling company is Graham Parker and the Rumour, the real-life, critics'-darling British band that ran out of gas in the early 1980s.
Rudd will be paired again in the film with Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann, expanding the roles they coined as secondary characters in the director's 2007 comedy-drama "Knocked Up."
The meta-textual twist in Apatow's film is that Parker and his bandmates actually play themselves. In conjunction with their on-screen revival, the band next month will be releasing their first album together in more than 30 years, "Three Chords Good." A national tour is also in the works.