Friday, June 1, 2007

That's the real question isn't it, is Knocked Up worth your time and money, and surprisingly there are two completely different answers to this question. If you are offended by crude dialogue (including a lot of cussing) and off-color jokes about sex, drugs, etc. then this movie is not for you (Read Mom & Dad!!!) If these things don't bother you and you were fans of movies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin then you'll love the movie.
I'll be upfront about this the movie is filled with the tings I mentioned above, crude dialogue, off-color jokes about sex, drugs, and more but like the aforementioned Virgin the movie is also filled with a strange sweetness. It would appear that Director Judd Apatow fills his movies with this crude humor, almost to make the sweet center that much sweeter. If we look at Virgin it focused on this sweet, likable loser, Andy, who falls in love while everyone around him is trying to force sex upon him. The more vulgar and disgusting everyone else was, the sweeter Andy appeared.
Here the movie focuses on two characters, the sweet, professional Alison (Katherine Heigl) and the vulgar, pot head Ben (Cinemaniac favorite Seth Rogen) but the again the more vulgar and crude Ben is in the beginning the more sweet his transformation over the course of the movie becomes. Apatow has a proves here that he has a knack for bringing big hearted films with a message wrapped up in a R-Rated Package.
Now on to the plot! The movie first introduces us to Ben, a fun loving pothead who spends his days screwing around with roommates, having boxing matches, smoking weed, etc, and spends his nights working with these same roommates on a website devoted to celebrity nudity in movies. Alison on the other hand is a professional, living in her sister's pool house who works as a producer for the E! News channel, before getting a promotion to On-Air reporter.
Ben and Alison met at a bar where Alison is celebrating her promotion and soon both are wasted and end up back at Alison's. Eight Weeks later Alison calls Ben to let him know that she's Knocked Up. And what should have been a one night mistake becomes a reason for these two to try and work it out as they prepare for their babies birth. But the movie doesn't just fixate on this new couple trying to find their way, Apatow also tells the story of Alison's sister Debbie (Apatow's real wife Leslie Mann) and her husband Pete (The always fabulous Paul Rudd). Debbie and Pete have two kids and seem to have lost the passion from their marriage. The contrast of their journey of finding how to make their marriage work to Alison & Ben's journey works wonderfully.
The main complaint some will have is that the movie is too long, with a run time of 2Hrs and 9Min, but Apatow keeps the emotion and humor going the whole way through, so it's a asmall complaint (And truthfully if you're paying $10 for a movie, wouldn't you rather get more for your money? I know I would!)
But seriously this movie is hilarious. Apatow and crew know how to inject humor throughout a movie and keep the emotional core. Whether it's Ryan Seacrest as himself having a breakdown on his E! News show, Ben and Pete having a conversation over dinner about Back to the Future, or just Ben and his friend goofing off, the film keeps you laughing the entire way through. Speaking of Ben's roommates Apatow has assembled an amazing group of young actors from his previous projects to play Ben's roommates. Jason Seigel & Martin Starr from Freaks & Geeks play Jason and Martin, Jay Baruchel from Undeclared plays Jay, and Jonah Hill from 40 Year Old Virgin plays Jonah. I'm almost positive that these guys all used their real names so that Apatow could keep the cameras rolling as they just messed around to get extra footage he could use, but it works wonderfully, as these 5 guys have an amazing chemistry together that shows on screen.
Rogen & Heigl have an amazing chemistry together on screen and do a great job as their respective characters, but shockingly I think the best part of the movie may be the scenes between Rudd and Rogen. These two are obviously close friends and it shows on screen, their scenes together are always hilarious and usually just entail them cracking jokes back and forth. Much like the "You know how I know your gay" scene from Virgin their scenes steal the movie & I look forward to the DVD to see what was deleted.
On a quick side note: This was the second time I've seen this movie. Jeri and I saw a (very) advanced screening way back in October and were one of the first audiences to see it. I loved it then and still love it now. I had heard a few scenes had been changed and I noticed some of it, such as the aforementioned Back to the Future scene. I don't remember what it was in the original cut but it was different. Alsothe first time I saw it there was an interview with James Franco (Another Member of the Freaks & Geeks crew) for Spider-Man 3, but when a friend of mine saw it a couple of months ago it was an interview with Orlando Bloom for Pirates 3, and in the cut I saw Wednesday night it was back to the Franco interview. So again I look forward to the DVD to see all the alternate scenes, and the stuff that never made it into the film.
All-in-All this is a hilarious movie, but it's definitely not one for everyone. If words don't offend you then you should have no problem watching the movie. (although I think there was a tiny bit of unnecessary nudity so that might deter some as well) In the end it's really just an obscenely hilarious film with a heart.
WARNING! BIG SPOILERS COMING FOR ONE SPECIFIC SCENE, BUT IT MAY BE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! One word of warning for any who go to see the movie: Be ready to cover your eyes during the birth scene. There's a couple of shots, which we'll just say are Director Apatow's "Crowning" Achievement, if you know what I mean, and it's a bit graphic even for the 2 seconds that it entails. You've been warned!


John said...

If that guy got me pregnant I would make him the happiest man alive for the rest of our lives.

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