Knocked Up
Review By: Joe

My friends and I wanted to go see Paprika this weekend. As it turned out, though, Paprika isn't playing anywhere. Thus, it was that me, myself, and three also single and male friends, went instead to see Knocked Up. Oh, oh!

Knocked Up is a good movie. It follows a similar formula to Judd Apatow's previous effort, The 40-Year Old Virgin, in that it often goes for the raunchy humor of your average R-rated Hollywood comedy, but also includes characters that manage to come off as realistic so that the situations and emotions they go through seem plausible. This way, he ends up with plots you actually care about, rather than just filler before the next cock joke or tit shot (of which there are both in this movie).

The thing about Knocked Up is that it strays from the gross-out formula even more than its predecessor. Although the dialogue is pretty constantly filthy, I can probably count the number of nasty visual gags on one hand. This does make a huge difference, though. Really, almost all of the humor here is dialogue-based, making this film feel like it's in borderline-indie territory.

It probably is easier to laugh out loud at The 40-Year Old Virgin (at least if you're a guy, anyway). I honestly didn't do that much with this movie, but I very often had a huge grin on my face simply because of how realistically hilarious so many of these characters are. I didn't really consider this a bad thing though. In fact, it's a wonder that I liked these characters as much as I did.

I can't recall the last movie in which I appreciated so many of the characters. It certainly helps that the cast just so happens to be awesome. Seth Rogen is almost instantly likeable, playing sort of what I'd imagine an adult version of his character from Freaks and Geeks might be like and Katherine Heigl, although she's been on that ridiculous Grey's Anatomy garbage for quite awhile now, has always acted the hell out of her roles and does the same here. A lot of the auxiliary characters are great too. Jason Segel steals the scene pretty much every time he shows up and, even though Paul Rudd is popping up in every decent comedy production I see now, it's probably because he does a kick-ass job.

The movie's not perfect. Some stuff is introduced that has no apparent resolution, such as Seth's character, Ben, getting pissed at Katherine's character, Alison, for being embarassed to be seen with him. Granted, she clearly learns to accept him, but she's never outwardly sorry and it feels sort of unresolved. Also, the plotlines about Alison hiding her pregnancy from her employers and one of Ben's roommates not shaving for a year kind of just wrap up with an "eh" rather than anything satisfying.

There's also the issue that the film spends so much time on Ben, we hardly see things from Alison's perspective. This is basically fine; nobody said there had to be two protagonists. But, considering the subject matter is pregnancy, one might think the female's side of it might come into play just a bit more (not that it's ignored completely or anything).

There are leaps in logic, too, like why abortion (or adoption for that matter) isn't more heavily considered, as well as, well, let's be honest here, the idea that the overall plot, two people being lucky enough to actually get along this well after being forced together by way of a one-night stand produced pregnancy, is some very wishful thinking. But these are, especially, for a comedy, hard issues to address and Knocked Up still admirably handles its characters in a much more realistic manner than your average Hollywood effort.

Up until now, I had no idea what a date movie was supposed to be like. The only real options out there, to my knowledge, are chick flicks, which are so boring and bad that I could never imagine them doing anything except driving a couple apart, if it affected them in any way at all. I really was very impressed by Knocked Up and it did function as a positive message for all us nice losers out there, but, still, it's the first movie I think I've ever seen where it felt like I probably wasn't supposed to go see it with three guys.

"Hey," I said as we left the theater, "if any of us had girlfriends, I bet they would've really liked that."

AND NOW A GENUINE, TRUE STORY FROM MY RIDICULOUS LIFE!!!

My boss is currently pregnant (she's a girl) by her boyfriend of some years. The pregnancy was not planned.

The day this movie was released, I approached her in her office and axed, "Are you gonna go see Knocked Up?"

"Yeah!" said she. "It looks like it's gonna be really good."

"Yes," said I. "It's getting reviewed very well."

"And I can relate to it too," she said.

"Yes, I was going to make a joke, but I thought it wouldn't be kosher," I said.

"Well, but it's different. I mean, I've known my boyfriend for a long time."

"Yes," I said. "And, also, that girl's a lot hotter."

THE END!!!!!!!!!!!


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