Monday, July 16, 2007

Review: Knocked Up

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann
Director: Judd Apatow
Producer: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Clayton Townsend, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Release Date: June 1, 2007
Running time: 124 min
MPAA Rating: R
Distributors: Universal Studios

The Skinny:
An intended one night stand turns into everyone's worst nightmare when they end up pregnant. Hilarity ensues.

The Review:
Finally. A movie that lives up to its own hype. After a disappointing month of Spider-Man this, and Shrek that, it's nice to finally have a movie that isn't so full of itself that it's bloated beyond its own good intentions. Knocked Up tells the story of an up and coming TV reporter Alison, played by the spectacularly beautiful Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy fame, who recently gets promoted, goes out to a club to celebrate with her sister, meets and eventually hooks up with Ben, a pitch perfect Seth Rogen, only to find out 2 months later that their intended one night of drunken debauchery has yielded an unexpected pregnancy. All followed by the subsequent attempts to try to make the situation work by dating in the name of doing the right thing. It's a very basic, very realistic story that I am surprised hasn't been made into a movie before now. Although I'm surprised, I am very glad that it was left to the capable hands of the movie's director, Judd Apatow. Like Apatow's The 40 Year Old Virgin before it, Knocked Up is a very funny yet heartwarming movie (my girlfriend would classify it as "cute"). Guys will like it for the very raunchy quotable humor while women will like it for the "cuteness" factor. There are many hilarious scenes and (for once) not just the ones in the trailer. (See: the initial meeting to tell Cal she is pregnant, the dinner date between Cal/Alison and her sister/husband, Cal and Alison attempting to have sex 7 months pregnant). But for all its humor and heart, the real reason this story works beyond its simplistic realism is the performances and chemistry between the main characters Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. Not so much for Rogen, who was the hilarious standout star of The 40 Year Old Virgin, but for Heigl's performance. She surprised me with not only her scrub-less hotness, but her ability to carry a romantic comedy lead. (Side note: when she first appears onscreen wearing a skin-tight tank top, the Alpha-male part of me blurted out to my girlfriend "Whoa boobs, where have you been hiding in 2 seasons of Grey's Anatomy?" Before I realized what I said, she responded with a resounding, "No kidding!" God, I love that girl.) So long as she doesn't fall into typecasting purgatory a la Julia Roberts, she can have a bright film future ahead of her. There is also a funny supporting cast in Cal's stoner roommates and "business partners" and the always reliable Paul Rudd. The only thing I can hold against this movie is the role of Alison's sister. Not for the character itself; it serves its purpose, but for the actress who plays her. Maybe I am alone on this one, but Leslie Mann (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Stealing Harvard, Big Daddy) annoys the ever-living shit out of me – she always has. I can't for the life of me see why she keeps getting cast in the same carbon-copied, annoying, whining sister/girlfriend/wife/whore role. She's not funny and it's so bad it actually distracts me from the movie when she's on screen because I just see red. That's just my personal opinion but luckily this time she's not enough to detract from the movie itself because everything else is just too damn funny.

The Rub:
An eventual comedic classic in the vein of The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Old School, this movie is hilarious. Plus your girlfriend/date will like it for the 'chick-flick' quotient – and Katherine Heigl's boobs. And that's the rub.

**** of *****

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