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Movie Review: Knocked Up
Dave3   |  @   |  

Knocked UpSome of the funniest moments we experience in real life are the unintentional ones — sometimes awkward, sometimes embarrassing. Those unique moments are nearly impossible to recreate, and often lost in translation when attempting to convey to another person. It’s times like that which called for the invention of the phrase ‘You had to be there.’

Under the wrong direction, Knocked Up could have easily degenerated into a slap-stick, knee-jerk, comedy — one that plays every scene for the cheap laugh or plays every character for their stereotypical role-response. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Instead, we’re served-up a film in which the characters are fully developed, the situations are nearly devoid of contrivance, and the comedy stems mostly from the awkward realities we all face.

In writer/director Judd Apatow‘s directorial debut, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he took a character that was barely a pitch for a sketch-comedy, and gave him depth and plausibility. Knocked Up shows, once again, that Apatow has an incredible sense of what makes the simple occurrences in the lives of human relationships important… and funny.

Even the one contrived situation in the movie — jobless pothead Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) scoring with beautiful E! producer Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl), seems natural and more importantly, believable. This allows the audience to accept everything that follows without feeling patronized.

Much like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the supporting cast of characters are at times hysterically funny, but they never give you the feeling that their only purpose is comic relief.

Allison’s bitchy older sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and brother in-law on the verge of a mid-life crisis Pete (an odd, but perfect role for Paul Rudd) provide the nigh dysfunctional family point-of-view, while Ben’s circle of friends, Jay, Jonah, Jason, and Martin (Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr … none of whom had trouble remembering their character names, I hope) aptly replicate the typical stoner conclave (don’t ask me how I know this, but it’s true). In another movie they all would probably have remained one-dimensional caricatures, but to the credit of the script, direction, and their respective performances, nearly everyone came off as true-to-life.

Now, the real question you’re asking is ‘Is it funny?’ In short — Hell yes, it’s funny! So much so that at times I laughed over a good portion of dialogue, and found myself having to ask those around me what I missed.

The rapport between Ben, Allison, his pals, and her family is hilarious. Supporting performances by Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters) as Ben’s thrice-divorced dad, and Kristen Wiig (SNL) as Allison’s jealous and passive/aggressive coworker, to name a few, are funny as hell. And guest spots by Steve Carell as himself ‘on-camera,’ and Ryan Seacrest as himself ‘off-camera,’ add some well placed *meta* to the comedy.

And for those of you out there wondering whether or not Seth Rogen, in his first starring role, can carry a film, wonder no longer. He plays average, likable, compelling, and comedic without missing a beat.

So far as the summer movies have gone, Knocked Up easily wins the D3 title of most enjoyable. It has the best character development, the most fully realized plot, and it’s the only one that doesn’t take its target audience entirely for granted.


  1. i haven’t watched it yet and never heard about it until I visited this blog. it is a new one?

    but judging from the pic you posted here, this movie is something, i don’t know… i feel like it’s not really interesting.

    Comment by SELaplana — June 2, 2007 @ 4:37 am

  2. Well, I’m glad I spent two hours formulating a comprehensive textual review, only to have you judge it based on a picture. Good job, SEL!

    Comment by Dave3 — June 2, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  3. ^ best comment response…. ever.

    Comment by Kevin — June 4, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  4. I saw this movie on Friday… and it was amazing! How anyone could suggest this movie isn’t interesting is beyond me. It was so honest and had so many memorable moments. Excellent Thoughts Dave!

    Comment by taja — June 4, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  5. Thanks for the review Dave3, maybe you can replace the picture for Sel ? (something shiny perhaps ?)

    Comment by Stevo — June 4, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  6. Nice review and, you’re right, the movie was incredible and I have to see it again because of all the stuff I missed while laughing out loud. Ignore SELaplana’s comment – the review was well worth it.

    Comment by jorvis — June 4, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  7. SELaplana must me an idiot. Ever since they canned Judd Apatow’s “Freaks & Geeks” (one of the most underrated TV shows of all time), I’ve been hoping he would bring some more of his genius to TV. He went straight to the big screen, and I’m going to see this one THIS WEEKEND!…thanks for the review.

    Comment by Devin — June 4, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  8. funny

    Comment by lol — June 4, 2007 @ 11:29 pm

  9. Great review Dave, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Comment by Hunter — June 4, 2007 @ 11:33 pm

  10. Thank you for your review. I’ve never heard much of the movie, aside from comments such as “OMGWTF this movie ROXORZ LOL”, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see an intelligent review about the movie.

    I’ll be watching this website.

    Comment by Ninja — June 4, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

  11. Great review, I’ve been anticipating seeing this since I saw the trailer before 300… I could tell that there was something more to this movie.. (not to mention the “Shame on a N***a” rendition by the pool, Wu Tang!) glad you liked it… I hope I do…

    Comment by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoeJoe — June 4, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  12. Funniest Movie EVER

    Comment by joe — June 4, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  13. lol @ above,

    liked your review mr. dave, I’ve been sold on knocked up for months, as soon as I realized it contained like half the cast from freaks and geeks.

    Comment by tehsquish — June 4, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

  14. Good write up. The human element is exactly why Judd Apetow is such a huge comedic success. His brilliant and hilarious method of writing and character development is pretty much top of the heap. I can’t think of another writer that has been as successful or as funny as Judd in the last decade.

    Oh and SEL, you are a douche.

    Comment by Wes — June 4, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

  15. I am stunned. This was one of the most contrived and sophomoric movies I have wasted time on. The “humor” was utterly predictable, the characters absurd and unbelievable, and the storyline utterly trivial. To make matters worse, at least four times, I was sure it was over, only to be forced to endure another seemingly interminable bout of boredom. That anyone could praise this movie is a testament only to the sorry state of film making.

    Comment by Rick — June 5, 2007 @ 12:48 am

  16. Rick, you must lead a pretty dull life, I found these characters were a lot like me and my friends. What’s so absurd or unbelievable about them?

    Then again you did just write “utterly trivial” in your post, maybe you should go slumming a bit, experience some real life.

    Comment by Bill — June 5, 2007 @ 1:16 am

  17. Tell me, are you high right now? I loved Freaks and Geeks, but any humor I found in this movie was tempered by how over-the-top crude it was. How many times did they drop the F bomb?

    Comment by Will — June 5, 2007 @ 6:27 am

  18. Not only did this movie make me laugh, it made me feel better about life because of the way it portrayed people dealing with the crazy shit you actually have to deal with in real life.

    Comment by Daniel — June 5, 2007 @ 6:31 am

  19. haha. I want to see this movie from these comments it seems you either love it or hate it.

    Comment by Motorcycle Guy — June 5, 2007 @ 7:26 am

  20. This movie is totally f@cking funny

    Comment by Cheesepipe — June 5, 2007 @ 8:44 am

  21. Crude? How many times did they drop the F Bomb?

    Man, I’d hate to have someone follow me around through-out a day and see how many times I drop the f-bomb…

    The movie was great, I laughed the whole time and would recommend to everyone that needs a good laugh…

    Comment by Josh — June 5, 2007 @ 10:11 am

  22. I thought the movie was hilarious. Sleeper hit for sure, loved Paul Rudd especially. However, after reading this article in Macleans, I’m not convinced of the originality of the script: [Link]

    Comment by Erica — June 5, 2007 @ 10:22 am

  23. I saw this movie Sunday and loved it!! and my turd looked like a stuffed animal

    Comment by d3 — June 5, 2007 @ 11:58 am

  24. The author of that book made a big deal of a couple of things which were already featured in the movie nine months. Knocked up was pretty much nine months, except more believable and had guts.

    Comment by bob — June 5, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  25. “I saw this movie Sunday and loved it!! and my turd looked like a stuffed animal”


    Comment by lol — June 5, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  26. well, i might be idiot but what i commented earlier was based on the picture posted on that post. just take a look at that pic, what has been shown was a man and a woman sitting like that…. :-)

    Comment by SELaplana — June 6, 2007 @ 12:46 am

  27. Well done Selaplana, admitting you’re an idiot is the first step to recovery. Yet you still don’t that the post above is an advert and can not reflect an entire film, or the article below it.

    You should be banned from posting, anywhere, ever.

    Can’t wait to see the film. Anyone here an UNDECLARED fan? :)

    Comment by SELaplana is retarded — June 6, 2007 @ 3:33 am

  28. I agree completely. Best comedy of the year. Only thing that may top it is Superbad.

    Comment by Mitch E — June 6, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  29. Loved this movie and your review. really nice to see that everyone is enjoying this. I hope word of mouth continues to be strong because this film deserves a ton of success

    Comment by Gblack — June 7, 2007 @ 11:18 am

  30. Found it hardly funny and very predictable. How embarrassing for Judd Apatow to direct such a tedious and awkward to watch movie. Sorry guys, but I found it a waste of time and it got very few laughs from me. Genius idea to try get laughs by using the “F” word in irritating excess ??. I think not.

    Comment by Jake — June 27, 2007 @ 7:11 am

  31. This was one of the most trivial, predictable, disjointed, stupid, boring, tedious movies I have ever had the misfortune to sit through! The characters were all horrible; the plot was utterly unbelievable; the production was disjointed, being more a series of stupid vignettes than a story; the language was gratuitously scatalogical (which is neither funny nor interesting). It started slowly, and slowed down from there. And was about two hours too long. Just horrible! And did I mention that the characters were all hideous, utterly impossible to care even a little bit about? It is absolutely incredible what rubbish passes for genius these days.

    Comment by Amazed — June 27, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  32. @Jake & Amazed

    I’m certain this is redundant but I’ll say it regardless– I completely and utterly disagree with you both, but I do appreciate you taking the time to share your opinions.

    Comment by Dave3 — June 27, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  33. The movie is a bore, it’s simply not funny. A couple small laughs will present themselves along the way. Reading some of the above reviews make me feel as if they were at a different movie than I………Boring, unbelieveable and not funny hit the nail on the head. Low taste content officially drives the movie business these days……F.

    Comment by Pacific — June 28, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  34. Judging from these replies and other reviews around the “blogosphere”… I’ve come to a conclusion. You either Loved Knocked Up or you Hated Knocked Up, there’s very little grey area on this decision.

    I myself Loved it. It breathed new life into clichéd formulaic comedies, adding a nice level of realism.

    If anything, I thought the foul mouthed humor added to the realism. And anyone who’s had any form of healthy male comradery will agree.

    Also, anyone who uses the word “Utterly” is a self absorbed prick, who’s so lonely they have plenty of time to look up and use words like “Utterly and Scatalogical”…

    Go see this movie, if you don’t mind an overabundance of dirty language and sexual innuendos, it’s a good one.

    Comment by Asvetic — July 5, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  35. @Asvetic

    Hey, I used *utterly* in my reply to Mr. Amazed’s scatological comment. Should I be concerned that I may turn into a self-absorbed prick as well? heh ;)

    Comment by Dave3 — July 5, 2007 @ 9:20 am

  36. While it’s true some reality is portrayed in “Knocked Up”, ,my wife and I found the dialogue in this film to be disgustingly vulgar. There are far better ways to portray reality without indecent, demeaning scenes and practically continuous vulgarity. This film is an excercise in perpetuating juvenile behaviour and attitudes toward reality. Kathryn Heigl carries her role well, but I think this role is (should have been) beneath her; very disappointing. I’d take a refund on the admission price if it were available; what a disappointment.
    It’s equally disappointing that anyone finds this film funny or entertaining.

    Comment by Robin — July 7, 2007 @ 9:04 am

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