Reel Rewind – Knocked Up

Knocked Up (MA)

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

 

Who would have thought that a relatively low budget comedy/drama with virtually no-name actors about an unplanned pregnancy could hold its own ground against this seasons’ blockbusters? Well, that is what Knocked Up has done. It has been raking in copious amounts of money at the box office and garnering positive reviews.

When a young career minded woman named Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) gets a promotion as on air presenter for E! News, she goes out clubbing to celebrate. On her night out she meets dead-beat stoner Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) and they both get thoroughly drunk and end up sleeping together. The next morning is understandably awkward given their opposite personalities and they hastily decide to go their separate ways.

Eight weeks later, Alison discovers she is pregnant as a result of her night with that no hoper and decides to forge a relationship with him before the baby is born. Comedy ensues.

Those expecting a side splitting, thigh-slapping time may be slightly disappointed with this film as it isn’t as hilarious as the previews make it out to be. But that doesn’t mean it is a terrible film. It is consistently and genuinely funny and some viewers may be surprised by the moments of drama and poignancy. However, it is those moments that make this film special and stand out from the barrage of by-the-numbers comedy films Hollywood churns out.

Writer/director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) gets carried away with his sub plots (hence the two hour plus running time which is epic for a comedy) and the film sometimes loses its focus. But he has once again created an appealing adult comedy with real, down to earth characters that you can identify with and who actually make sense. By the end of this film you will have come to care about what happens to these people and this is the films greatest strength.

Seth Rogen achieves the seemingly impossible by making his unemployed, pervert character likeable and Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl is solid in both the serious and comedic scenes. The two leads are often outshone by the supporting cast including Ben’s drop-kick friends and Alison’s bitter sister with marital problems. If you want a break from the special effects driven action films at the movies at the moment, check out Knocked Up for a laugh.

As published in Examiner Newspapers 2007.

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