(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW SCORE: 30
3 out of 5 🐙
Knocked Up is the latest in a series of comedies with a similar feel. Precursors include Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Judd Apatow, the Scorcese of this min-genre, wrote and directed this flick and ‘Virgin. Paul Rudd has starred in each of these films as the nice, good-looking guy with a troubling but highly comic issue. Steve Carell was the star in ‘Virgin but he did have a funny cameo.
Besides the personnel links these comedies all share the same sensibility. As with Porky’s, Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Animal House before them, the joke pacing level of crudeness and characters are similar. In this latest grouping, the heroes are all losers. In ‘Virgin, it was a dork who had not been able to with a woman in adulthood. In ‘Anchorman, it was an overly cocky local celebrity idiot, and in ‘Talledega, it was a racing phenom who also happens to be an idiot. The jokes come fast and furious and are extremely politically incorrect and extremely low brow (look out for the pubes joke) and extremely funny.
The plot is simple as pie. Just like the title says, a lady gets knocked up. In this particular conception, the gal (Alison Scott) is played by Katherine Heigl (The Ringer, Grey’s Anatomy). On a superficial looks scale of 1 to 10 she would about a 13. The sperm donor is chubby loser with man boobs named Ben Stone who is played by Seth Rogen (40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman). On a scale of 1 to 10, Ben would be a -3.
Only in Hollywood movies does a guy who looks like this take home a gal who looks like that. They end up shagging and she gets…see the title. She decides she wants Ben involved and as they spend more time together they begin to fall in love. Again, only in Hollywood.
As the fetus grows, Ben’s loser friends support and attack his choice in their own special fashion (read: gross, hilarious humor). Chief among them is Jonah (Jonah Hill – I heart Huckabees, 40 Year Old Virgin). He is a large lad with a lot of anger and paranoia. Alison’s sister (who shifts from psychopathic to righteously indignant with ease), and her husband Pete (Paul Rudd), add to the mess of opinions.
Unfortunately, this movie tries to interlace real feelings and emotions between the jokes. I guess this is so the more refined audience members who are being dragged to this movie won’t be completely irritated. Pregnant women are emotional. I get this. It’s an amazing and physically demanding, to put it mildly, process. But these feelings hardly ring true. They attempt to substitute quantity for quality. Heigl cried more times during this movie than Meryl Streep has cried in her entire career. Luckily, the melodramatic mature moments are few and far between.
It’s ok but it won’t be any miracle in your movie watching life.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)