Media Maven: “Knocked Up” Movie Review

Media Maven: “Knocked Up” Movie Review

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Knocked Up
Katherine Heigl, Seth Rosen, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd

"Surprisingly funny," "engaging" and "heartwarming" are just a few of the adjectives used by promoters and critics to describe this film.

Knocked Up is the latest work of Judd Apatow, who wrote and directed this film. Apatow takes the premise of an innocent one night stand and the ensuing pregnancy through the stages of anger, denial, depression and acceptance. Starring Katherine Hiegel of Grey’s Anatomy and Seth Rogen of The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Apatow links these two unlikely people (one gorgeous blonde and one overweight, listless, stoner) by a twist of fate. Katherine Hiegel proves she has comedic timing. And Seth Rogen’s character isn’t much of a stretch as he plays the same socially-challenged type from Apatow’s last movie.

Yes, it is funny. Yes, it is engaging in showing how real things – such as unexpected pregnancies – happen. It is heartwarming to see a film where we hope all the characters live happily ever after. But Knocked Up also is crude and strewn with vulgarity. Its raunchy dialogue overshadows any chance of sweetness to redeem it. Appealing to people who must use the F word for every kind of descriptive adjective —this movie got laughs!

Which brings me to this question: Why do actors use such language to “assist their craft” in movies yet, on TV they perform without use of such crass dialogue? Case in point: In this film Hiegle and Rogen are arguing and she repeatedly shouts to him “Get the F out of my car!” Her character on Grey’s Anatomy lost her fiancée whose body rejected a donated heart. That was a real tear jerker and it encompassed several episodes. Not once did Heigel’s character shout “Why the F did this have to happen?” Hmmmm…

The premise behind Knocked Up is all too recognizable; think King of Queens Leah Remini and Kevin James, The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason and Shelia MacRae, as well as According to Jim’s Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith. In the telling of this story, the ensemble cast, the plot and the director’s small daughters all serve to give this movie a sense of the familiar. Leslie Mann (Jeff Apatow’s real life wife) plays so convincingly the stereotype of the wife who is bored with her marriage and suspicious of her husband’s fidelity. Paul Rudd, as her husband, does a great job in portraying marriage as a lifelong sitcom with no ending.

Fans of director Judd Apatow’s 40 Year-Old Virgin will identify with the tender-hearted and at times irreverent moments in this film. With all his standard ducks lined in a row, Apatow was given an opportunity to make a comedy with merit. Instead he handed us a mediocre story called Knocked Up.

Should anything more be expected with a movie title like that?

Rating: Three Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.