Knocked Up Review
Knocked Up is a 2007 romantic comedy film directed by Judd Apatow and starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in the lead roles. It has its flaws, but it is mostly a really good comedy.
It follows Ben and Alison who after a one-night stand end up with a pregnancy. Ben later has to deal with his soon to come fatherhood and he has to take responsibilities and turn his life around. Yes, by the premise, it does sound incredibly cliched. And it is very typical and quite expected, and at times even unbelievable. But thanks to fine execution and phenomenal humor, Knocked Up does manage to transcend its cliched script.
The characters are mostly really good. Ben is excellent and he is a well written and well acted character who is believable as this good-natured but incredibly lazy man living a fun life with his friends. And although that big turn for him is a bit too hard to swallow, it is mostly done right and by that I mean that it is done not over night, but over a lot of period and running time which is why the filmmakers got away with it. Alison is a really likable woman and she has her moments, but she is the weakest link here mostly because the way she was written and portrayed is really sexist, but more on that later. I liked Pete and his problems and getting away from the wife to be with friends is well done and dramatic, but it is still a way too common trope in movies. As for the rest of the characters, they are okay, but they rarely get much screen time apart from Debbie who has her funny moments and relevant scenes.
The acting is top-notch. Paul Rudd is stupendous here and it was weird watching him back in this period and realizing that he hasn’t aged at all. Leslie Mann gave a really comedic performance and Katherine Heigl is very good in a rather difficult role. Seth Rogen of course stands out and this is probably his best performance ever because he is the protagonist here, getting most of the screen time, but also because he did a really nice job and he got a somewhat different role from his usual roles.
The humor is superb. It is the highlight of the movie. There are many scenes that are simply hilarious, but the relationship between the two early on provided many funny moments. And the supporting characters do add a lot of laughs. Plus I also liked the ending which is super gross, but brutally funny. I liked how the humor was in even the most dramatic scenes, making it never cross into drama that much which was great as it is supposed to be a comedy. As for the romance, it is there and it is well handled, albeit predictable and hard to believe.
As I said before, the movie is sexist and that’s mainly because Alison is an idiotic character and you never get why she would go through pregnancy, especially with him. The movie never got away from that and it is troublesome, but it is not that problematic as the humor is great which is the most important aspect for a comedy. But once again that sexist approach and once again an overly prolonged narrative (and it does have an absurd running time and many dragged scenes with the first act being the most notorious of that) is Judd Apatow’s fault and he is to blame, just like his direction in ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But the movie does have a lot of heart, it is funny and it is very charming and the happy ending, although unrealistic, is still earned thanks to likable characters and charming chemistry and humor.
Knocked Up is very funny with a lot of brilliant moments, the acting is superb and the movie is very charming. It does feel unbelievable and it may be sexist, but it is still a very effervescent movie that manages to be both a comedy and a romantic comedy thanks to excellent humor and incorporation of things both men and women would enjoy. It is overlong and badly edited, but it is a fun and funny flick that’s really charming as well.
My Rating – 4