Dailies: Knocked Up
As one might astutely deduce from its title, Knocked Up (rated R), is a film mostly about a girl who gets pregnant. But it’s also about a myriad other relational adventures, including marriages, growing up, having kids, getting older and, of course, the obligatory fellowship of heavily inebriated guy-friends.
Judd Apatow, best known for The 40-Year Old Virgin, wrote and directed this quirky romantic comedy, and one can expect much of the same spirit here. Cleverly written and often piercingly realistic (a number of times I found myself thinking, “Wow, yes, I know guys talk like that when nobody else is around, but … seriously? In a movie?”), Knocked Up traverses through a not-entirely-original plot (remember 1997’s Fools Rush In?) with a subject matter that is all too common (one night stands and their consequences), but that doesn’t make it cliché or re-hashed. In fact, Knocked Up is a mostly fresh, witty and enjoyable ride from start to finish.
As mentioned, this film is shockingly realistic, with graphic genitalia jokes from the perpetually drunk/high male posse to birth scenes that will scare the promiscuity straight out of your high school health class. But that doesn’t mean it’s not endearing as well. Despite the moments of borderline, and at times overboard crassness (this film gladly earns its R rating, for many reasons), it also contains scenes of split-your-sides laughter; I was quite nearly doubled over and howling—loudly—on numerous occasions.
Above all, Knocked Up is fantastically sweet. The relationship between Alison and Ben (wonderfully played by Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen) is heartfelt and enchanting. Their budding, unlikely romance is predicable, but not in a negative way; just because we know where the rollercoaster will end up doesn’t mean we don’t want to ride it. In fact, because we know where the movie is going to arrive, it may even make the crazy ride all the more exciting.
Knocked Up is equal parts hilarious escapism and insightful relational commentary, and it adds up to be probably one of the funniest movies you’ll see this summer.