Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd
Duration: 2 hrs. 9 min.
Rated: R for sexual content, drug use and language.
Plot: Allison Scott (Heigl) is an up-and-coming entertainment journalist whose 24-year-old life is on the fast track. But it gets seriously derailed when a drunken one-nighter with slacker Ben Stone (Rogen) results in an unwanted pregnancy. Faced with the prospect of going it alone or getting to know the baby’s father, Allison decides to give the lovable doof a chance.
My Review: Knocked Up turned out to be a great movie and I wasn’t too surprised considering Judd Apatow’s past work and the strong reviews this movie earned. In terms of genre and style this follow on to 40-Year-Old Virgin was even better than its predecessor. While Seth Rogen’s character, Ben Stone, comes off a bit misfortunate in life he certainly isn’t portrayed as a loser, just more of a slacker. So there isn’t this sort of “aww, how nice of this lady to give this guy a try” charity feeling. Despite clear differences between their approaches to life and current status Allison and Ben are a fun odd-couple from the start and they keep the entertaining interactions going the whole time.
This movie nearly feels like an ensemble movie with the great cast and supporting characters. Allison’s support group, played by Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd as the semi-cynical married couple, provide a great “down the road” element to the story and easily embody many of the main characters’ concerns. In Ben’s corner are his best friends, filled in by Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Martin Starr. The ongoing gag with Starr and his long hair and beard provide many laughs on its own. All of these guys act so naturally that you can easily imagine them all having been friends since childhood.
So the cast is solid, but how about the storyline and delivery? It’s even better. The movie is all about a tough and very real situation and thankfully all those involved treat it with respect and seriousness. Allison’s and Ben’s fears and cautiousness play out nicely as they work through their ups and downs. While there is certainly a serious topic at the center the story takes plenty of time to give lots of laughs and side stories that had me laughing out loud repeatedly. I think this could have easily turned into a slap stick mess in the wrong hands, but the direction provided by Apatow allowed a successful take off, smooth flight, and graceful landing.
I highly recommend this movie for some good laughs, but be warned this is an R rated movie so there is plenty of story time for drugs, sex (mostly clothed and just one breast the whole time, if I remember correctly), and plenty of rough language. Although there may be lots of those things not of them seem gratuitous or put in just to draw a certain demographic. There was also one “aww man” moment there at the end. If you’ve seen There’s Something about Mary then you’re familiar with the “Franks and Beans” in the zipper scene. Well imagine a delivery room equivalent that gets shown a few times more than I needed, but that’s your gross out moment of the movie.
My rating: 4/5 stars
High point: Consistently funny. Great story. Great actors/actresses.
Low point: Whoa! Graphic delivery scene.
Judd Apatow fans, check out his interview with Wired magazine.
Knocked Up Movie Trailer: