Movie Report: Knocked Up (2007)

Book coverAfter watching The Green Hornet, I picked up this film which might have been the movie that launched Seth Rogen’s career, to see if his characters always annoyed me. Which is a little less than rage-watching, but he had a big moment about a decade and a half ago, and I wanted to maybe catch a little of his career in case it ever comes up in a trivia night. After all, the things I thought were trivia–pop culture details from the 1940s-1970s–is now ancient history and the lost wisdom of the Ancestors.


In the film, Rogen plays a frattish bro living with a bunch of friends who are hoping to make it rich off of an Internet site (coming sometime) that tells you when you can see boobies in the movies. Katherine Heigl plays an up-and-coming broadcast talent who finally gets her break in front of the camera. The frattish boys are out at the club because that’s what they do, and Heigl’s Alison is celebrating her promotion, and after many, many drinks, Rogen’s Ben and Alison hook up. The coitus they barely remember results in Alison becoming pregnant, and against the advice of her family and at risk of her career, she decides to keep the baby. When she tells Ben, he decides to help, and they get to know each other as they prepare for the baby’s birth.

So the manboy in this film does undergo some character growth–the woman too–but I attribute this more to it being a Judd Apatow film more than a Seth Rogen film. some of Apatow’s other works also have those bits of growth and depth to them–This Is 40, The 40-Year-Old Virgin maybe–but some are just straight ahead comedies (Anchorman, Superbad, Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, et al). Looking over Apatow’s ouevre, I have seen a lot of his films, and although I note that many of the same actors appear in them–his family, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and so on–I don’t think of the Apatowverse like I think of the Stillerverse or the Sandlerverse. Probably because he’s behind the camera–far behind it as a producer and writer not always the director.

So the film was not as bad as I had feared it would be. Like most 21st century R-rated comedies, it has a lot of swearing and requires drugs or blackout drinking for major plot points–I need some Cary Grant films as a palate cleanser–but it is easily the best Seth Rogen film I’ve seen. Of which the sample size is small (although he has smaller parts in other movies in the Apatowverse, he stars in but a few).

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