Knocked Up (Apatow, 2007)

Seth Rogen, the star of Judd Apatow’s latest comedy Knocked Up, sports a devious but kind smile, a rotund belly, and enough charisma to carry multiple lesser made films. His Ben Stone, the man responsible for impregnating Katherine Heigl’s Allison, is a star making performance – Rogen convincingly maneuvers between sluggish man child and caring, responsible adult with ease, creating a character literally learning how to act like a grown up for the first time (his journey brilliantly parallels his own child’s yet to come). The initial dilemma, whether to make a commitment to Alison after discovering he is the father, takes seconds of screen time. The bulk of the film deals with Ben following up on this promise, namely “actions speak louder than words.” And boy does Apatow, Rogen, Paul Rudd, and company deliver. Knocked Up begins with said accidental hook up and quickly evolves into a crass, poignant, and all together hilarious dissection of pre-married life. The film surpasses the lack of structure seen in The 40 Year Old Virgin by giving it’s protagonist an actual, physical goal toward taking responsibility for his actions, namely 9 months to get his act in gear. Unlike Steve Carrel’s mental quest for the pink taco in the aforementioned film, Rogen’s Ben must learn to leave the easy life of partying, smoking, and sleeping around for a dangerous, risky, chance at something meaningful. Underneath the cussing, the sex, and the painful look at doubt in marriage, Knocked Up creates a sense of purpose and trust within two young people risking it all, both hoping the other will stick around for the long haul. In a country built upon pop culture constantly referencing how cool one night stands, bitches, ho’s, and clubbin’ can be, it’s wonderful to see a gang of Hollywood artists ripping these notions to shreds and recreating the harsh act of the relationship. If not a bit too long, Knocked Up celebrates the evolution of love in ways I never imagined, both in marriage and friendships. Case in point, I never knew pink eye could be transmitted that way. See the flick and you’ll understand.

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