A pregnancy can change a couple’s life, especially if it is unexpected and the couple is seemingly wrong for each other. But in the film Knocked Up, this situation is difficult, heartwarming and humorous all at the same time.
Judd Apatow, director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, has come through once again with a quirky comedy based on unique and lovable characters.
Ben Stone, played by the comedic talent Seth Rogen (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), is an amiable slacker who meets Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy), an ambitious E! Entertainment Television correspondent, at a nightclub and has a one-night stand.
Eight weeks later Alison meets with Ben and lets the bomb drop that she is pregnant. These two mismatched characters decide to try a relationship for the baby’s sake, which starts out smoothly but becomes challenging the more they realize their differences.
Rogen gets his turn in the spotlight as his first lead role in this film and he lives up to the part as Ben. We love Ben in this movie even though he is a loser who spends his time with his friends partying or creating a Web site that pinpoints nude scenes in films. It’s also fun to watch him grow up as he accepts the responsibilities that are forced on him as he realizes there is more to him than the childlike persona he emulates.
We also love Alison even though she can be uptight and rigid at times. We see her become more open-minded as she spends time around Ben, someone completely different from her.
The differences between Ben and Alison are even more apparent in their separate groups of friends. Alison has her on-edge, control-freak sister Debbie (Leslie Mann of Big Daddy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and brother-in-law Pete, (Paul Rudd of Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) who serve as a poor example of a married couple for Ben and Alison to try to emulate.
Ben and Pete have an automatic connection showing that all men can find common ground by being men and relating to the stresses of relationships. There are great scenes where Ben and Pete seem to click and go into guy language and their girlfriend and wife disappear. In one scene, Ben and Pete are talking in Back to the Future references and the girls do not understand because they were trying to engage in serious conversation. They even develop a deeper friendship during a trip to Vegas in which they help one another see the real problems and possible solutions in their relationships with their significant others.
Another great strength of the film arrives in the form of Ben’s friends, a group of lazy stoners, who create laughs whenever onscreen and deliver their lines without missing a beat.
There are similarities between The 40-Year-Old Virgin and this Apatow film, but audiences should not expect the same type of humor. In Knocked Up, Apatow has the ideal balance of the uninhibited male views and the subtle romantic qualities of a chick flick. He does this by skillfully creating genuine and hilarious dialogue rather than relying on physical humor.
A great scene occurs when Alison and Ben are quarreling because of her pregnancy-induced mood swings and the argument becomes one between Ben and Alison’s hormones rather than Alison. These characters always deliver funny lines with underlying truth — when Ben sees Alison unclothed for the first time, he blurts out, “You’re prettier than I am.”
This film is a must see for anyone who loves comedy. With its equal mix of chick flick and guy humor it is a film for both sexes to relate to and enjoy. Two hours is long for a comedy but Apatow pulls it off, further proving Knocked Up to be a classic in the making.