Aging is no easy process – just ask Judd Apatow.
As the writer, director and co-producer of This Is 40, Apatow, 45, sees a bit of himself in the film’s stars, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who play a longtime married couple.
“I relate to just being a disgusting man and feeling bad that my wife even has to be around me,” Apatow, who is married to Mann in real life, recently told PEOPLE with a laugh.
“You get older and you have things that need to be checked and looked at. It’s not very romantic. I try to keep it to a minimum, but every now and then, you say, ‘You have to look at this.’ ”
Adds Apatow, “I don’t know what it is. There’s almost nothing you would do after 16 years of marriage that you would do after the first, second or third date.”
But clearly, none of the couple’s quirks seem to bother one another too much because they still seem very much in love after all these years.
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“We like working together,” Apatow says. “We probably get along much better than one would assume during the creative process. What makes [our marriage] work is we’re always trying to do better and understand each other. We’re both complicated people, but we want it to work and we love each other.”
Part of what brings the talented pair together is their love of family. The couple’s two young daughters, Iris, 10, and Maude, 15, are both in the film, which will be released on DVD March 22.
“They are sometimes best friends and sometimes enemies,” Mann, 40, tells PEOPLE of their two girls. “We’re thinking that when they get a little bit older they will grow out of the enemy part, but you can’t force that so we are letting them do their thing.
Adds Mann, “They have a lot of moments where I feel like we did a good job as parents, but then when they are fighting we go, ‘Argh, we did everything wrong.’ We blame ourselves for everything.”
Whether they’re getting along or not, the couple’s kids sure know how to entertain.
“Iris is the one, really, who cracks us up,” Mann explains. “She does voices and impressions of people. Maude does impressions also. They are really good at impressions, so we sit around the dinner table and they do impressions of people. But not mean-spirited.”