Knocked Up
Director: Judd Apatow (40 Year-Old Virgin)
Writer: Judd Apatow
Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Clayton Townsend
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 129 min
read my spoiler disclaimer



reviewed by Andrew James
     When it comes to comedies I have to admit, I find them for the most part very overrated. Sure they make you laugh, but there's so many little things that just make it not quite that great film you were hoping for. Here is a perfect example of that type of movie. I shall attempt to explain.

      Ben (Seth Rogen) is a less than regular dude with no money, no job and a very limited sense of ambition. He lives with four other stoner friends with equal parts stupidity and also a lack of ambition. At a night club one night, Ben meets the beautiful and successful Alison (Heigl) and really turns on the charm. Somehow he manages to get her into bed and she ends up getting pregnant. The rest of the film focusses on these two totally opposite people trying to deal with this surprise. Offering their version of support and friendship along the way are Ben's four stoner friends and Alison's sister (Mann) and brother in-law (Rudd).

      Walking into the film expecting comedy, this is exactly what we get. It's juvenile comedy, but still very funny. The parts that work best for me are with Ben and his friends just acting like guys. TONS of pop culture references (copyright Eric Bana) which always make me smile and just the sort of inane banter and humor that I would expect to hear from a bunch of twenty-something, stoned slackers. The guys that deliver the dialogue could be a bit more polished, but if it makes me laugh, that's all I can ask for.

      Paul Rudd delivers another knock-out performance as Seth's soon to be in-law. He's funny and poignant and just has that spectacular on-screen presence that most actors can only dream of. Whenever he is on-screen the film is a treat. This goes for other smaller roles as well. Kristen Wiig from "SNL" has a stand out performance where every single line she has steals the scene and evokes laughter from the audience. Couple these with some other cute and funny cameos and you've really got a complete cast that works. No one really stood out to me as poor or taking anything away from the film.

      Which brings us to our stars, Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. Rogen is perfect for this role. He is pretty much the exact same character he played in The 40 Year-Old Virgin but thrust into an uncomfortable situation in the lead role. He's a lovable guy that has so many perfect lines you will nearly always be smiling when he is on screen. Heigl is surprisingly well cast. She is pretty, smart and has timing that accompanies Rogen's brash and crude humor very nicely. Did I mention she's pretty?

      As I said, there is something about these types of films that drive me nuts. In the case of Knocked Up, it's the length and serious tone the film takes. The seriousness works both in favor and against the film. It works in that it really gives us something to relate to and makes it seem a bit more real. But it also is a bit of a downer for a time and I just kept thinking, "Am I going to get to laugh again soon?" Part of this is also due to the length. At over two hours the film really starts to go on for too long when it could've cut a few scenes and ended 25 mintues earlier.

      This is the second pro-life film that I have seen in a week and also the second fairly conservative film from Apatow. Though they may trick you into not realizing you're watching a conservative film, you are. Having said that, it's crude, off-the-wall humor yet easily relatable and poignant and has good things to say.

      Is it funny? Yes. And that's all we can really ask for from a comedy. Still, I wish it had been cut down a bit more. But being as that's my only real gripe about the film (though in this particular case, a big one), I'd say we have a winner here that's probably worth watching again soon.



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Links:
IMDb.com - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER PROFILE for Knocked Up




 





andrew@moviepatron.com