For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child.For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child.For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child.
The comedy is clever and insightful, loaded with little self-referential moments and pop culture references (the Munich one is particularly awesome), and while it occasionally veers toward the puerile, the movie's subject matter ensures that the humour remains considered and intelligent for the most part. The performances are outstanding, but not just in terms of comic timing. Rogen appears built for this sort of balanced role as he realises that he has to grow up to meet the challenges of relationships and parenthood, and Heigl is just as effective as she learns to accommodate Ben's lifestyle and releases her grip on her career. The support from Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann is also brilliant. While their conflict-ridden marriage doesn't make them the greatest of role models for Ben and Alison, it certainly provides lots of laughs, and the clashes between Mann's overly paranoid Debbie and Rudd's laid-back Pete provide an interesting projection of how Ben & Alison's relationship could turn out.
The Rudd & Rogen moments make for some of the movie's better lines, but their humour is finely balanced with that emotional depth that I mentioned before, making the characters far more than punchline machines, which benefits the movie immeasurably. The awkward intimacy of Ben & Alison's almost-forced relationship also provides touching and comic moments, as Apatow examines what happens "when life doesn't care about your plan". Even the serious, emotional scenes are laced with a sort of ironic, bittersweet humour, which again gives the characters a sense of realism but also makes the movie that bit more comfortable and reassuring.
A subject that could have been treated with a crass touch, Apatow remains in tune with his previous effort, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and chooses to focus on the impact the pregnancy has on the lives of the characters, allowing their actions and interactions to create the comedy as they come to terms with their new situation. His light touch makes Knocked Up touching, insightful, and very, very, funny.
- Aug 20, 2007