Writer, producer and director Judd Apatow doesn’t divert from his stock in trade with myriad flawed characters, a combo of the dry, absurd and crude (anyone who doesn’t like a fart joke is a liar), and centring it all on their relationships.

It’s five years since Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl had a kid following an improbable drunken shag, but they’re nowhere to be seen.

Support crew Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) are the focus now – Pete’s started a (failing) record label and Debbie’s opened a shop (a major failure if not for her sales hottie Megan Fox).

They’re still trying to remember why they like each other in the presence of hilarious kids Sadie and Charlotte, Apatow and Mann’s real offspring Maude, 14, and Iris, 10, the older going through puberty and a Lost obsession while the younger’s almost as off-beat cute as Outnumbered’s Ramona Marquez.

Their 40th birthdays scare Debbie into an attempt to make their lives better – out with gluten, ciggies, sugar and technology – with predictable yet side-splitting results. Mammograms and colonoscopies shouldn’t be this funny.

Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) almost steals the show as a school mother, and cops one of the great i-Insults like a champ. Parenting issues also come with parental troubles (Debbie’s absent dad, a deadpan John Lithgow, and Pete’s too present mooching old man, Albert Brooks).

But as always, gags come from everywhere and everyone, and don’t worry, just when you think it’s getting a bit real that’s the cue for a clanger.

%TNT Magazine% stars 4

Good for: A proper laugh at yourself. Not just for the near-middle-aged or the V-Day crowd.

: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude and Iris Apatow | 15 | 133mins | Out Feb 14