Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knocked Up (2007)

Starring Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, et al
Rated R, 129 minutes

Ben (Rogen) lives on settlement money. Between bong hits, Ben and his friends try to mount a website based on celebrity nudity. Alison (Heigl) has just been made on-air talent at E! Entertainment Television. The two cross paths at a club, and wouldn't you know it? (check the title) He knocks her up. Now Ben has to straighten up to sire his child.

Coming in with expectations hurt the film in my opinion. When I hear "Judd Apatow" and see this cast - Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd - I expect what I got out of his other R-rated comedies. But the humor was soft compared to the rest of his catalog. It still has the spirited delivery and snappy pop culture references, but it lacked some edge. I expected a crude but heart-filled look into having a family unexpectedly.

Usually the two hour length of an Apatow comedy doesn't bother me. His movies are fun for the vast majority of the duration. But "Knocked Up" felt almost artificially long. It got dull as the baby was being delivered. The movie dug its claws in emotionally, which wasn't all bad, but it was a different experience than I signed up for. Despite all those minutes on the screen, the couple still fell in and out of love really quickly. It sort of invalidated the feelings the characters were supposed to have, and marred the suspension of disbelief.

That wasn't the only thing in the movie that led me to questions. The fact his friends are portrayed as such losers, you wouldn't even believe Katherine Heigl's character will step foot in their house, much less become part of his seeking-boobs-in-movies lifestyle. I feel like the movie skipped over the scenes where the two characters truly connect and/or Alison commits to making Ben a full-fledged partner. And I didn't believe two people in such a bind would use up so much money and time.

Paul Rudd and his movie wife (Leslie Mann) were a highlight. Kristin Wiig does well with her small role, and again - Bill Hader! Overall, I came out with not much of an opinion. I got bored in the last quarter or so, laughed a little early on, and wondered where the consistency was.


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