Knocked Up comes courtesy of director Judd Apatow, the man of possible brilliance that bought ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin’ to the big screen. The film starts simply and quickly with the attractive E! News reporter Alison Scott celebrating her new promotion by getting horribly drunk at a fashionable, local bar. There she meets Ben Stone, a chubby loser whose temporary career plan is to eventually launch a Website aptly named fleshofthestars.com, a directory that counts the amount of minutes before a cinematic nude scene.
Naturally the intoxicated couple hit it off, and in a whirl of uncomfortable lust and freshly rancid bar fumes, sparks fly and oven, meets bun. When Alison finds out she is pregnant, after several humourous vomit induced gags (excuse the pun), she decides she needs to tell Ben, however she hasn’t spoken to him in a few months. There wasn’t even an exchange of mobile numbers, as he didn’t have one, “payment complications,” he uses. Obviously shocked by this news he responds with “I’m not poor or anything. But I eat a lot of spaghetti.”
The narrative is fairly obvious from the start but it doesn’t actually matter, because practically every character, every scene, and almost every line is hilarious. Silly comedies can be good, but it’s the ones that matter, the ones that clamber to the truth that make it great. All of Ben’s stoned roommates quickly agree at what the expecting parents should do, and it rhymes with “shmush-shmortion.” However, after Alison sees a tiny heartbeat on the monitor at the clinic, the decision is made. This choice happens to interfere with Ben’s vision of what his life should be, but thankfully his wonderfully boundless father offers him a beautiful bit of advice, “Life doesn’t care about your vision. You just gotta roll with it.”
Alison lives with her control-freak sister Debbie, her brother-in-law Pete (who shares possibly one of the most amusing scenes with Ben in a hotel, with the chairs) and their two kids. Pete and Debbie seem to be constantly at heads, and their arguments are unusually on real things and situations that can separate even the smart, committed people. Alison notices that their fights never end, but lacks to see that its because they’re both right.
Judd Apatow’s strengths lie mostly in the childish comedy and sporadically the film will repeatedly cut to less important plots that tend to dumb down the humour. But I did laugh, and on occasion I cried with laughter. Crudity walks hand in hand with sensitivity and there are intensely funny, practically warm moments that speak brilliantly and skilfully of life and of love. If you can push aside the coarse formula and childish, bathroom humour, you’re left with an unpredictably delicate social commentary that is certain to be a comical gem.