Archive Review: Knocked Up (2007)

With Seth Rogen’s latest in theaters this weekend, I thought I’d offer up my review of “Knocked Up,” written June 28, 2008.

Judd Apatow delivers again in what is easily his most poignant comedy while still staying true to the antics of his usual band of characters. “Knocked Up” is able to still deliver a lot of the laughs while being honest and meaningful: in other words, something for both guys and girls to enjoy equally. Although some might argue that both the humor and sincerity kind of cheat each other out of realizing their full potential, I say the strategy works perfectly.

The true quality of this film emerges in the simple contrast between its main characters: Ben, a 23-year-old jobless stoner (Rogen), and Alison, an up-and-coming talent for TV network E! (Heigl). The fact that they have irresponsible sex and Alison gets pregnant forces their different lives together, which allows for a lot of humor in addition to serious relationship drama. With some great writing, Apatow really finds a way to make this a movie everyone can see, enjoy, laugh at and take something away from — a success, basically.

If you’re a girl, you will love Heigl if for some reason you don’t already, which means you’re one of no people who doesn’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy” and falls into the target demographic for this film. I would go as far as to say she’s so talented that she’s rather above this film and doesn’t fit. Both she and Leslie Mann, who plays her sister, have a great rep on screen and turn this into a film that can be almost as much for girls as it is for guys.

For the guys, Rogen is great in his first leading role and his posse of friends including Jason Segel and Jonah Hill keep the comic relief coming quickly if you feel there isn’t enough of it. Their humor doesn’t dominate the film, but there’s a healthy dose — I didn’t find it shortchanged although it was not exactly side-splitting. Rogen is most skilled at being able to do both the romantic comedy and the stoner comedy and not seeming unnatural.

Of all the films he produces, the ones Apatow directs (this film and “40-Year-Old Virgin”) seem to be the most meaningful ones. His style is very natural and allows for focus on the situations, dialogue and characters, portraying them in a way that is truest to real life. In this sense, “Knocked Up” trounces “Virgin.” If you’ve been in a serious relationship, you’ve heard all these lines before and of course unplanned pregnancy is a very real occurrence in this world with a set of consequences and predictable actions. The fact that he found a way to do this while still including his trademarks is a testament to his grip on the film industry and will guarantee him a lot more success until someone can match his comedic prowess. Until then, any films with the Apatow tag on them will be the most anticipated comedies each year.

4.5/5 Stars

Knocked Up
Written and Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment