Review: Knocked Up
PLOT: When stoner-slacker Ben hooks up with Alison, an up and coming journalist for E! Entertainment Television, at a club, they end up spending the night together having a little drunken, unprotected sex. A few weeks later, Alison comes to the horrible realization that her one night stand has left her Knocked Up. After calling Ben, the two make a decision to have the baby and try and learn to make it work. .
It’s easy to picture exactly what you will get when you purchase your ticket to the movie “Knocked Up”. The poster says it all, with the goofy close-up of Seth Rogen and the tagline, “What if this guy got you pregnant?” and you know that it is from Judd Apatow, the man who brought us “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. This is going to be a laugh a minute look at what happens when a slacker gets a girl way out of his league preggers and all hell breaks loose. But guess what, this is far more than just a one note joke, this may very well be the best romantic comedy in years. It’s everything that a Judd Apatow film can be, rude, crude and surprisingly touching, but not in a sappy, clichéd way. In fact, many of the typical stereotypes in this type of film are set aside to offer very real, yet sometimes painful dialogue the way that those of us who have gone through the experience of pregnancy can relate. This is not to say that you must have children to enjoy this film, not at all, but it may help you decide whether or not you go down that path.
When slacker Ben (Seth Rogen) meets up with newly promoted television correspondent, Alison (Katherine Hiegl), there is an instant connection and they end up having a night of drunkenly awkward sex, it is obviously not a match made in heaven. But very few are. So many times people who are not necessarily the ideal couple are the ones that thrive. And both Seth and Katherine give such honest and wonderful performances that you really believe that they could learn to care for each other with a child on the way. There are several moments here that ring true but without being shallow or obvious. Alison’s sister Debbie and her husband Pete, played by Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, give their counterparts a very jaded look at being married with children, and both are fantastic. A wonderful script and a couple of beautiful performances from both give their marriage depth. This is it folks. It’s not always easy, and self doubt can creep up on you. It was an interesting take that the men in this film were the ones faced with self doubt, while the women are sometimes too controlling. Yet both have their moments of strength and weakness. This is a smart script that paints a portrait of men and women in a very detailed and humorous view.
As for being a laugh out loud funny flick, it is not what you expect. In fact, the laughs are not as often as you would think. There is nothing really so over-the-top that it will have you rolling in the aisles. So on that note, I was a bit surprised and even a tad disappointed. The funny is there, but it is a much more somber humor. In one scene, Pete is describing marriage like an unfunny episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” that lasts forever. It is scenes like this that make this a very real and compassionate look at relationships. The jokes aren’t always easy or obvious. The characters swear a lot and get frustrated and do dumb and hurtful things to each other. Nobody is perfect and with such an honest look at these people, you might be able to find some understanding why your girlfriend or boyfriend would say what they did. It is the simple frustration of not reading enough about how to become a father that sparks one painful argument between Ben and Alison; simple and real. Yes it’s damn funny and yes it is even heartbreaking; “Knocked Up” is clever, charming, crude and also, a very realistic portrayal of what would happen if Seth Rogen got you pregnant. And it’s much more heartfelt and f*cking funny than any episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond”.
My rating 9/10 -- JimmyO