Movie Review: Knocked Up

The three funniest movies of the last three years are without a doubt: Borat, 40-Year-Old-Virgin and now Knocked Up. And director Judd Apatow was involved in two of the aforementioned films. And many people do know this, but Judd met with Sacha Baron Cohen several years ago about making a Borat movie. How crazy is that?

I first became aware of Apatow's comedy with the short lived cult television show Freaks & Geeks. I later realized that Apatow was behind The Cable Guy, a very underrated dark comedy starring Jim Carrey. But enough about Apatow, let's talk about Knocked Up.

Knocked Up stars Seth Rogen as Ben Stone, a stoner with hapless dreams who has been living off a government paycheck who has a one night stand. Eight weeks later Alison Scott (played by the very cute Katherine Heigl) shows up with the news that she is pregnant. So basically we have the romantic comedy in reverse. Can two opposites attract after the fact?

This movie has it all: unexpected cameos, so many hilarious quo-tables ("It's not herpes if it's everywhere") and the laugh out loud tentpole moments (one that rivals the "franks and beans" moment from There's Something About Mary). But the reason this film succeeds is the accessibility of the concept and story. The film compares the differences between married life and being in a relationship. The conversations between the friends and couples are so eerily natural. And there is this argument scene that takes place between Paul Rudd's character and his wife. It's scripted and executed so perfectly that it divides the audience by gender. And that's a tough accomplishment.

It's also nice to see Seth Rogen finally get a lead role. He's not your typical lead star, and may-be that's the point. He's a guy that reminds me of a lot of my friends. And it's not just Rogen and his character, but also the inclusion of his burnout friends. We finally get to see a real group of misfits on the screen, and not the usual Hollywood stereotypical friend grouping.

And Knocked Up is the rare comedy that transcends laughs to become a heartwarming story worthy of your two hours and ten bucks. In the age of home entertainment, downloading torrents, and netflix, there is a value in a theatrical comedy experience like this. Go see the movie on opening weekend!

That said, while leaving the theater it hit me that while I very much love both of Apatow's recent efforts, I strongly disagree with the overall themes. I'm a geek and a fanboy, and 40-Year-Old-Virgin is about giving up your childhood hobbies and toys for a girl to accept you. Sure, in the end she allows him to may-be open up a collectables store, but isn't he still selling off his entire collection? I find this appalling. And Knocked Up is about Ben having to man up, let go of his independent internet website dreams, get a real job, so that Alison will accept him. Sure, Ben's website wasn't the most thought out idea. And sure, it's not like he was really working hard at it. But the idea that a guy must give up his dreams and become a corporate drone to earn the respect of a girl sickens me. And may-be this is just because I turned a website dream into the website you are now reading. I loved movies and was able to turn that into a career. I now watch and write about films for a living, and it was only because I took that unconventional leap. And honestly, I'm not some great writer (I'm sure that's obvious to you by now). I just have a passion for the subject, and a drive to talk about the things that interest me, and hopefully will interest you. And I know I've gone on a tangent, but anyone can work for themselves, they just need to have the right idea and work at it. And may-be I'm just a guy who can't accept compromising one's self for a relationship. And may-be that's the sole reasons I'm not currently in a relationship.

But the funny thing is, despite these strong feelings I have against the them of Apatow's last two films, it doesn't effect my enjoyment. And that is a testament to the movies themselves.