Thursday, November 01, 2007

Knocked Up

Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, 2007) [6]

As I've stated before, I'm a huge fan of Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared which maybe means I'm expecting too much of Apatow's films. This along with the 40 Year Old Virgin have their laughs but they really aren't that impressive overall. This is a solidly executed film but it really isn't the kind of revelatory piece that critics painted it to be. Maybe when you release a film in the shitstorm that is the summer movie season, anything that is even watchable becomes a masterpiece. For the actual film, it just drags too much in the beginning and really only gets its footing (and most of its laughs) when the focus moves to the Rogen and Heigl characters' relationship issues. Too much of the film is spent on the sophomoric aspects of Ben's friends which I could really do without. Apatow formally as a director doesn't do anything but get the basics across, not doing anything to emphasize the emotional complexities the film has. It's rare to see a film like this tackle the issues of marriage and raising children with such a real mix of joy, humor, and depression as this. The greatest strength of the film is that it places all the neuroses of marriage and kids right out there, whether it be the doubt if you're in the right relationship or if you can actually be a fit father. The end of the film is quite conservative, and while I'm not begrudging it, it jostles with my sensibilities. Is it quite necessary? What exactly has Ben learned besides cleaning up his superficial personality traits? I guess it all comes down to what you want out of this film; if you wanted laughs and a tidy ending you got it but I think there could have been a bit more to what Knocked Up actually is.

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