I’ve been busy working on a script, which is a good thing. Although it takes me away from the blog, it means I’ve broken through the crippling writer’s block that shut me down for a couple of months. Anyway, I saw “Knocked Up” last Friday and loved it. Immediately after the movie, I wrote this review.
Of all the tings I expected from Judd Apatowâ€™s wonderful movie, â€œKnocked Upâ€, the one thing I did not see coming was the emotional honesty at the core of the film. Between all of the dick jokes and the hundreds of times the work â€œfuckâ€ is used (to comic genius effect), this really is a movie about people connecting and a movie about love. Not just the love between man and woman (and the complexities of love), but also love between friends and love between a parent and their child. In many ways, the film reminded me of Apatowâ€™s classic series, â€œFreaks and Geeksâ€ (for which he was the producer, writer and occasional director). The humor tempered the pathos in such an organic way; the film did not feel like your run of the mill romantic comedy. Instead, it felt like a slice of reality. There were several moments when I was near tears in laughter, and others when I was near tears because of the emotional depth the characters all had. Apatow has said that Hal Ashbyâ€™s movies were models for the type of movie he wants to make. You can clearly see that in â€œKnocked Upâ€, which is a far more adult film that his previous gem, â€œThe 40 Year Old Virginâ€.
There are so many hilarious moments in the movie that to recount them would be a disservice to it. I should point out that Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd are sensational as a married couple with two children who are going through a rough time in their marriage. These two obviously love each other; they have just hit a bump in the road and are having a difficult time expressing that love. In addition, Apatowâ€™s daughters (he is married to Mann) play the children of Rudd and Mann. They steal every scene they are in. Seth Rogan has such a lovable quality to him in this movie that youâ€™re rooting for him, even when heâ€™s fucking up. And I am really impressed with Katharine Heigel. She is a very talented actress and once she hangs up the scrubs from â€œGreyâ€™s Anatomyâ€, she should have a nice career in films.
I canâ€™t say enough about the script and the direction, though. Apatow has such a smooth touch; you really donâ€™t feel like youâ€™re watching a movie. He has created characters that seem like the guys and girls you hang out with at your house on the weekend. Each scene feels natural and real. He is now in a position, after two excellent and successful films, to do pretty much what he wants. I hope that he continues to make films like this one, character driven comedies that tale a slice out of life and make it accessible to everyone.
At the very end, when the baby is being delivered (and we get a money shot that rivals Ben Stillerâ€™s ball sac in a zipper from â€œThereâ€™s Something About Maryâ€), I was getting choked up. You never forget what itâ€™s like being in the hospital the day your child is born. It is the most exhilarating and wonderful feeling in the world. I will admit that I felt some sadness watching these characters deliver birth naturally. I wish that Julie would have had that experience. Both of the kidâ€™s deliveries were traumatic and stressful. But what are you going to do. As the film says, â€œLife doesnâ€™t follow any plans. You have to roll with it.â€
Great movie all around. I may have to see it again because I was laughing through so many scenes.
Ironically, after I finished writing this, I checked TCM to see what was on (a Rockstar drink will do that to you). “Harold & Maude” was airing, so of course, I watched it.