Knocked Up

 
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Written by:Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel
Released: July 5, 2007
Grade: A-

Alison Scott (Heigl) has just been given the promotion of a lifetime.  Working behind the scenes at the E! television network, her bosses now think she is “camera worthy”.  They want her to interview big-name celebrities and include them in one of their major entertainment shows.  To celebrate, Alison and her sister, Debbie (Mann), head to a nightclub for some big celebrations.

Ben Stone (Rogen) is an unemployed loser who lives in a share-house with four other guys.  They love to drink alcohol, smoke weed and create stupid bets.  They are currently designing a website which tells you in which movies celebrities get naked and so the bulk of their day is spent watching videos on the couch.  Looking for a good time one night, Ben and his friends head out on the town.

It is at this point where Alison and Ben first meet.  Both blindly drunk, they listen to each other’s dribble, they dance on the dance floor and then they back to Alison’s place for a one night stand.  When Alison awakes the next morning and sees Ben’s naked body on the bed, she realises that this was a big mistake.  This guy is not her type and they have nothing in common.  She gets rid of him as quickly as possible and Ben gets the message.

Eight weeks later, Alison is throwing up at work.  Horrified that she might be pregnant, she goes with her sister to the supermarket and buys every pregnancy test that they have.  The results are all positive.  The perfect life she had planned out has been ruined in an instant.  Ben is equally stunned when he hears the news.  He’s certainly not ready to be a father.  Between them, Ben and Alison decide to keep the baby and see if they can raise it together.

It may sound like a drama but Knocked Up is very intelligent comedy from Judd Apatow, the writer and director of The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.  By creating humour out of the above scenario, Apatow has opened his film up to a wider audience.  He’s following the theory that the best way of dealing with a serious situation is to laugh about it.  There are many moviegoers who will see this film that might not otherwise have done so if it was a deep, brooding drama.

That’s not to say that this film features “bottom of the barrel” laughs.  The conversations that the characters share are real and insightful.  Guys will be able to relate to Ben’s actions and girls will be able to relate to Alison’s actions.  Couples who see this movie may learn a lot about how the other sex thinks.  It’s reminded me of films such as What Women Want with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt and The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

Knocked Up is already proving itself as a sleeper hit at the box-office.  It was made for just $33m and has taken over $110m in its first four weeks at the U.S. box-office.  It’s proof that you don’t need a big budget and tonnes of special effects to make a good movie.  What audiences want above all else is a smartly written script.  Knocked Up delivers on that count and it deserves its success.