Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Movie Review: "Knocked Up" (2007)

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Movie"Knocked Up"
Director: Judd Apatow
Year: 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes

Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) has just gotten a promotion at her job with the E! network as an on-air host. She and her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) have decided to go out to the club to celebrate with a few drinks. When there, Alison meets a guy named Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), a full-time stoner and nudity-in-movies aficionado. Drinking and dancing quickly turns into love making for the two of them. 8 weeks later, feeling ill, Alison takes a number of pregnancy tests and discovers they are all positive. Alison and Ben are then put in the awkward position of trying to turn their one-night stand into a full-fledged relationship, forced to make it work, even though they don't know the first thing about having a baby...or each other.

The appeal of "Knocked Up" has not been sullied over the years. Though it's not as classic as its Judd Apatow counterpart "The 40 Year Old Virgin," it's still just as hilarious today as it was when we saw it in 2007 for the first time. Wow...2007....time sure flies when mediocre comedies are thrown at you ad nauseum for almost a decade. Hollywood's #1 hated female actress for quite a stretch in the late 2000's, Katherine Heigl, plays Alison, a career-oriented woman working at the huge TV network E!. Up until now, she hasn't had her own place, forcing her to live with her sister Debbie, played by Apatow's real life wife Leslie Mann, and her husband Pete, played by Paul Rudd, and their two young daughters. Debbie and Pete obviously hate each other as their strained relationship causes them to call each other names, mock one another, belittle each other and sneak out for nights with friends. Not the best model for a relationship, eh? After Alison gets a promotion, she and her sister hit the town and is offered a beer by Ben, a chubby Jewish stoner who has no social filter whatsoever. He is there with his nerdy, stoner buddies, and Debbie, just wanting to get away for the night, goes with Alison to try and prove she's not as old as she thinks she is. One beer leads to another beer, and Alison and Ben, not knowing the first thing about each other, and not even sure if they would really like one another when sober, have a one-night stand. During the heat of the moment confusion, they don't use a condom. 8 weeks later, boom, pregnant. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl play a good pair of opposites: Rogen, breaking out from his usual part of second-fiddle friend, steps up to play the lead here as his stereotypical goofball stoner underachieving jokester, and Heigl plays her typical workaholic, not-a-joking-bone-in-her-body, sort of snooty female protagonist. Their chemistry might not be all that believable every single second, but it's not the worst pairing in movie history.

With "Knocked Up," audiences get a really funny comedy about what it's like to accidentally get pregnant with someone you don't know. The humor mixes in with such tangible, real life situations, especially being polar opposites with someone and trying to bring a life into the world, shows a confident mix of zany and practical with both a woman and man's perspective in mind. Everything is included, from morning sickness to picking a doctor, from earthquakes to renting an apartment, it's all presented in a nice, neat package with some craziness on the side. There are some moments that drag the film down or cause secondhand embarrassment, but most of the humor lands where it need to and does so well. Pete and Debbie's relationship is one of the biggest points of contention in the film, and though not the main characters, their relationship strain causes a lot of problems for everyone else involved. Some scenarios with Ben's friends miss their intended marks, but other times, we can't imagine the movie without their constant bickering, squabbles, and dick jokes. Though the situation is chaotic, there are a lot of tension-easing points too, usually because of Rogen and these pothead friends. It's interesting to see the start of such now well-known comedy actors in Hollywood, but also to go back and see a lot of up-and-coming stars like Adam Scott, Ken Jeong, Martin Starr, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Jason Segel, and Kristen Wiig, knowing where they are in their careers now. Overall, we enjoy this movie quite a bit, though it might not be as constantly watchable as Rogen's other romps.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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