**** (out of 5)
June 1, 2007
Seth Rogan as BEN STONE
Katherine Heigl as ALISON SCOTT
Paul Rudd as PETE
Leslie Mann as DEBBIE
Jason Segel as JASON
Jay Baruchel as JAY
Jonah Hill as JONAH
Martin Starr as MARTIN
Directed by: Judd Apatow
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I know I’m going out on a limb with this, but it is quite possible that the new film “Knocked Up” is proof that Judd Apatow is a comedic genius. What starts out on paper as a tired old romantic comedy plot about a one-night stand that turns into a bun in the oven becomes one of the funniest movies of the year.
The reason writer/director Judd Apatow, who also gave us “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” is such a genius is that he defies conventional filmmaking to hit the mark with his film.
The funniest parts of the movie don’t happen in the context of the plot, but rather they are throwaway lines and entire scenes that any editor worth his salt would have cut from the film. However, these scenes are so funny that they deserve to be in the movie, no matter how irrelevant they are.
Ultimately, “Knocked Up” appears to be a two-hour venting of Apatow’s spleen about losing his freedom as a single guy, dealing with a wife that can be overly bitchy and how helpless men can feel in the wake of pregnancy hormones.
In this respect, the film serves as a humorous warning to anyone stumbling too quickly into a forced-commitment relationship, but it also is hilarious to watch for those of us who have been down all of these paths before. In short, the unmarried viewers should like the film, but the married viewers will probably share more laughs.
We all know that a movie like “Knocked Up” is utter fantasy because no offense to Seth Rogen, but a gorgeous woman like Katherine Heigl is completely out of his league – unless he’s paying $300 an hour for her “companionship.”
However, even with the beauty and the beast storyline, Apatow manages to make it believable with his set up. I won’t go into too much detail, but just realize that copious amounts of alcohol helped set the events of the film in motion.
There really isn’t a weak spot in the cast. Rogen holds his own against the popular and pretty Heigl, and she also manages to give us a sympathetic character and continue to be sexy as the pregnant, hormonal ball-and-chain. Sure, she always seems to be wearing her bra, even in the most intimate moments, but at least she’s not letting people die in the hospital like she does every week on television.
Still, the real feat of acting comes from Rogen, who is by no means a leading man. However, if he plays his cards right, he might be able to headline a certain brand of movies the way somewhat dorky stars like Mike Myers and Will Farrell have.
In addition to Heigl and Rogen giving us relatable, realistic characters, the supporting cast is equally hilarious. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd are almost as funny – if not more so – as Heigl’s sister and brother-in-law. Already saddled with two kids (played by Apatow and Mann’s real-life children), we see them as the warning to Heigl and Rogen as to what they might become.
Together, everyone in this film takes a worn-out plot and give it a surprisingly warm and fuzzy, yet very R-rated face lift.