Judd Apatow writes and directs this amiable comedy in which slacker Ben (Seth Rogen) and up-and-coming career girl Alison (Katherine Heigl) meet at a bar and end up having a one night stand. Eight weeks later, Ben is shocked when Alison asks to meet up with him and reveals that she is pregnant. Despite having little in common, the two decide that they have to at least try to make some kind of relationship work for the baby's sake.
In a year that otherwise struggled to deliver where comedies were concerned, Knocked Up
proved to be a very welcome treasure trove of laughs. Its from Judd Apatow, the man behind The 40 Year Old Virgin
and the excellent TV show Freaks and Geeks
, and sits easily as an equal to both. Its also a long-awaited showcase for the talents of Seth Rogen, who proves with some conviction that he can headline a movie.
The premise of Knocked Up is simple. Seth Rogen and Kathryn Heigl share, for differing reasons, a one-night stand, and several weeks later, the latter discovers shes pregnant. Given that Rogens character has been jobless for years, and that Heigl is trying to build a TV career, the two dont prove to be a logical match, yet as the pregnancy progresses, they try valiantly to get to know one another.
The narrative itself is quite straightforward, but its the execution and characters that lift it significantly. Apatow knows how to direct comedy, and with a script peppered with plenty of guffaw-out-loud moments and situations, he wrings very hearty laughs from the material. Plus, while its Rogen and Heigl who power the film, the supporting cast is simply superb, particularly the collection of people that Rogens character surrounds himself with.
Its perhaps guilty of running ten minutes too long, and theres little to surprise in the story itself, yet Knocked Up is nonetheless a terrific, earthy and grounded comedy, with so much to enjoy. Its hard to single out individual moments, and instead it simply seems more appropriate to declare Knocked Up as one of the best, and most rewatchable, comedies of the last few years. Dont miss it.--Simon Brew