John Reviews Knocked Up

Knockedup1 SmallJudd Apatow is quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. The 40 Year Old Virgin is in my little opinion, the best comedy film of the last 5 years. It wasn’t just hilarious, but it was also a smart film. Touching on real experiences and issues all while dealing with them in an almost satirical way. Other films have attempted to mix the two… but usually fail.

So here comes Apatow’s next film “Knocked Up“. He brings along much of the cast of 40 Year Old Virgin (and why not? The chemistry was fantastic) including giving Seth Rogen his first feature leading role. The synopsis of the film goes like this: “Slobby Ben and up and coming career girl Alison meet at a bar, and end up having a one night stand. Eight weeks later, Ben is shocked when Alison meets him and reveals that she is pregnant. Despite having little in common, the two decide that they have to at least try to make some kind of relationship work for the baby’s sake.”


Seth Rogen essentially plays his exact same character from The 40 year Old Virgin, but that actually works here. It was the right way to play this guy. I wasn’t really sure how well Rogen could do with the spotlight on him… and quite frankly I think Paul Rudd deserved a full feature lead role before Rogan did… but I thought Rogan handled himself quite well. He did what any comic lead needs to do if a film like this is going to work: Make the audience get endeared to you. And he did it. Through all the flaws of the character, Rogen made you love and cheer for him. I was impressed.

Paul Rudd is always gold. It’s almost boring to say it now because I usually have to say it after every film I see him in. The comedic chemistry that Rudd and Rogen have is amazing. I was always expecting one of them to say “you know how I know that you’re gay”. Rudd’s character is the guy most of us who are over 25 are. I loved how he was able to switch gears from hamming it up with Rogen, and then bring some real life issues that guys like us face and wrestle with.

The film is a different kind of comedy than the Will Ferrell stuff. Ferrell’s comedy films (which I enjoy) are more pure slapstick. You know what I mean… the “Honk honk” clown comedy. And that’s great. Apatow’s films are different. Knocked Up is a funny film, but it’s also a SMART film. Yes it has its fair use of ridiculous comedy in it… but much of it is more sophisticated and thoughtful than a Ferrell flick. With Knocked Up, I thought it was done wonderfully.


Speaking of comedic chemistry, where Knocked Up excelled with it between Rogen and Rudd…. it fell totally flat with the rest of the supporting cast… specifically with Rogan’s stoner house buddies. In 40 Year Old Virgin it worked to toal perfection… you had 4 VERY different guys, and yet the chemistry was amazing…. in Knocked Up, the group of buddies just didn’t fit or flow nearly as well. It was more awkward than anything else.

At just over 2 hours, Knocked Up was too long for the movie it was. To me, it felt like it hit the “satisfying” point at about 100 minutes. The result is that Knocked Up felt dragged out a number of times and killed the momentum it was building. The worst thing for a comedy is to at any point feel like it’s being dragged out… that happened with Knocked Up.

This one is just a personal preference. Considering the title of the film and the premise… I would have really liked to have seen more focus on how Rogen dealt with the news of the girl being pregnant. As it stands… in the film she tells him she’s pregnant, he freaks out for a few seconds… and then he gets past it and just starts to deal with the reality of preparing for a coming baby. I think that was a missed opportunity for the film… but it’s not a huge issue.


Knocked Up is a funny, smart and warm comedy that I appreciated quite a bit. No, not as good or funny as 40 Year Old Virgin… but still a worthy follow up for Judd Apatow. A bit too long, some characters that didn’t work and a couple of missed opportunities are more than made up for with solid performances by Rogen and Rudd, endearing characters, funny moments and interesting story. On a scale of 1-10 I give Knocked up a 7.5

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