Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Knocked Up (2007)
(Image from IMP Awards)
Knocked Up (2007)
Judd Apatow and crew follow up the fairly funny '40 Year Old Virgin' (a film whose unrated extended version really drags) with this irreverent, profane, heartwarming tale of a chubby loser-ish guy named Ben (Seth Rogen) who has a drunken one night stand with a hot blonde named Alison (Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant. When she decides to keep the baby, Ben agrees to help and support her despite being an unemployed irresponsible stoner who lives with his stoner friends and works on a website that tracks female nudity in movies. Alison is a successful professional TV presenter, completely out of Ben's league, and there's naturally a lot of hurdles the two have to surpass. In addition to Ben's friends (Apatow alumni Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr), the supporting cast also includes Alison's sister and her husband (Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd).
On the face of it Knocked Up is crude, a real guys film, but counter intuitively it's also full of heart. While there's no doubt that it veers heavily towards the male perspective of the equation, it gives the fairer sex a fair shake and is in some ways an indictment of the man child. Although one that still shows how that irresponsible lifestyle can be fun and appealing. The film is a mix between the typical rom com and the crude Animal House inspired comedies. There's a lot of rudeness but also a lot of, I think, fidelity towards the schism between the sexes. It's often laugh out loud funny, but still poignant at certain moments. And while the ending is a little too neat and convenient, it works and is quite satisfying. Like 'Virgin', the film runs a bit long however. Rogen is the star of the show and proves to be a capable and endearing leading man, and his dry deadpan brand of humour drives a lot of the films jokes. He's ably supported by the ever reliable Paul Rudd and the rest of the Apatow crew. Heigl is good in a fairly non comedic role, while Apatow's wife Leslie Mann is delightful as Rudd's character's nagging, frustrated wife.
'Knocked Up' may not be a classic, but it has enough originality and humour in it to make it worth checking out, and Rogen is a very watchable and atypical lead. The sensitive PC crowd with an overly developed sense of propriety will probably hate it, but that's their loss.