Apatow's sophomore follow-up to The 40 Year Old Virgin plays like the plot of a popular long-running sitcom—from the '80s

Knocked Up

on June 01, 2007 by Tim Cogshell
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Alison (Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy ) and Ben (Seth Rogen) hook up for a one-nighter, and eight weeks later she calls with the news—she's Knocked Up . The comedy is found (or at least should be) in the juxtaposition of disparate characters: She's a lovely, sophisticated young woman (save the drunken one-night stand) on the verge of a career explosion; he's a boorish man-child pig who lives with several other boorish man-child pigs. Then all the jokes about marriage and love and babies and relationships start, every single one of which you will have heard and seen before, which does not necessarily render them unfunny—just horribly trite.

In addition to The 40 Year Old Virgin , writer/director Judd Apatow's work includes the creation of short-lived TV series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared , both of which focused on precursors to the kind of characters that have shown up in his feature work. Here, Apatow is recycling not only characters and players (Rogen is an Apatow regular) but his rather ordinary perspective on the nature of boys and girls and how we get along, which is firmly grounded somewhere between junior high and joint mortgage payments. It's a view wherein men are idiots that must be refined (if not actually tamed) by women.

Though some, including the filmmakers, might find this sort of material smart and real, others might consider it middlebrow and not particularly representative of the complex and interesting people they know, some of whom are even men.
Distributor: Universal
Cast: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann
Director/Screenwriter: Judd Apatow
Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson and Clayton Towsend
Genre: Romance comedy
Rating: R for sexual content, drug use and language
Running time: 132 min.
Release date: June 1, 2007
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