The Movie Binge

Review: Knocked Up

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He's good with kids AND he shops at Bustedtees.com? Girlfriend, you better have that baby!

Knocked Up is the story of one acceptably chubby slacker's attempt to graduate from unemployed stoner into father-of-the-year. This movie is inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I immediately walked out to the lobby and had unprotected sex with the guy that sold me my popcorn combo.

"Spanky" was 49 and had to ask his manager for the keys to unlock the butter dispenser. But if Knocked Up is the cultural touchstone for today's charming man-child, I think my inseminator is about to have a life-changing epiphany and become the best thing that ever happened to me and my unborn little angel, Katyln-Zoë.

The film is a subtle, dystopian fantasy which takes place in a future where Planned Parenthood doesn't exist and having a kid can only be a blessing. The word "abortion" has been stricken from the record and replaced with the word — I swear — shma-shmortion. Hip grandmas all over the country are giggling over the almost-raunchiness as we speak.

Ben is a broke stoner with a collection of creepily-close best buddies. Like all broke stoners, they spend their weekends waiting behind velvet ropes to get into cheesy clubs. Alison is a career gal celebrating her promotion to on-air correspondent for the E! Channel by getting shitfaced with her sister. In a moment of foreshadowing, the two ladies pass directly into the club while Ben and his gang are left angrily outside what is apparently the only place to get an espressotini in California.

Once inside, Ben charms the out-of-his-league Alison by snagging beers from behind the counter and having curly hair. Meanwhile, Ben's pals narrate the budding romance from across the room and lovingly bust each other's balls. Dudes, we're like, totally friends! It's hysterical to be friends!

At the obligatory morning-after breakfast, Alison acts like a snotty bitch and walks out on Ben, who has no internal filter when it comes to talking about porn before 10 a.m. The imminent cable celebrity hates everything Ben stands for, as well she should because they are clearly ill-suited for one another. But all that is about to change for the hilarious, because what Alison doesn't know is that she just got Knocked Up.

After Alison regurgitates her high-powered breakfast, she suspects that she may be totally Knocked Up. Naturally, she emails Ben before she knows for certain that she's Knocked Up and they improv having dinner at a nice restaurant. Then he watches her get a transvaginal ultrasound, because a dildo that runs on cyclic sound pressure is funnier than a blood test.

Why Alison thinks she'll be able to keep a career in television while caring for a newborn baby is never explored. There's no time, because both characters are completely overwhelmed by inexplicable unconditional happiness. Sisters are running through the drugstore to buy 30 different brands of pregnancy tests! Ben suddenly has a membership at the same gym as Alison! Ultrasounds rock out to electronica beats! Oh, and the kooky fellas are having a beard contest.

Everyone in the Knocked Up universe seems to be either a good-hearted scamp or a batshit insane wife. Alison's sister starts fights with her husband over cupcakes, spies on his internet habits, and worse, goes clubbing in really ugly shirts. You'd think her chemical imbalance would be comedic but alas, it's simply awkward.

While there are just enough improv'd bong-smoking scenes to keep teen boys and atheists from feeling left out, Knocked Up seems aimed primarily at people who like crazy-cute babies and Robert Deniro impressions. Scenes like the one where Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen go to see Cirque De Soleil on shrooms are pretty funny, and I loved the super-adorable pothead chick played by Charlyne Yi. But I felt like every good laugh was immediately negated by an uncomfortable five minutes of "realistic couple-fighting" or a cute six-year old in princess outfit saying something naughty like "penis." Did I mention Robert Deniro impressions? I guess the target-audience here is 20-something fellas, but I can't fathom how it could hold their attention with all that boring chick-flick padding. What self-respecting guy has ever said to their new buddy, "You know, you and I make a good team"?

In the end, Alison falls deeply and madly in love with Ben because that's what happens when you keep your baby and then hang out with a guy you hate five times: happiness. I believe the angry fundamentalist waving the pig fetus in a jar summed it up best when she screamed: "AIDS is God's punishment to Africa!"

As for me and Katlyn-Zoë, well, I've been in and out of the hospital with pregnancy-induced toxemia. But my sister just bought me a whole case of Similac and said we can live in her basement after they put some throw-rugs down (score!). None of these material things matter though, because my life is filled to the brim with wacky friends, witty dialogue, pop-culture references to Matisyahu, musical montages, and the kind of love that can only come into your life after getting Knocked Up.

Comments

This was a very comical movie. I went into the viewing with mild expectations; after all, the previews were decent and Cal from 40-Year Old Virgin was to play a lead role. These expectations were far surpassed. The film did not loose steam at all as the plot progressed, and the audience was enthralled throughout in addition to being thoroughly entertained. The movie also had aspects that appealed to the more serious issue at hand. There were an abundance of one-liners and the film was very well written and produced. All in all, this is the best comedy after a comedic drought lasting from the summer of 2005 with the departure of Wedding Crashers and 40 Year Old Virgin from screens. This is a must see and a great relief to those that enjoy a good laugh and have been neglected for two years.

All the actors are comedy experts -- many of them from Judd Apatow's other ventures: "Undeclared" and "Freaks and Geeks". Steve Carell, star of Judd's "40 Year Old Virgin" has a cameo. As does Ryan Seacrest who plays himself as a total asshole. (Makes you wonder why he agreed to do this.) Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader from SNL are great in their small roles.

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