Knocked Up * * * *

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Director: Judd Apatow.
Screenplay: Judd Apatow.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigel, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr, Charlyne Yi, Alan Tudyk, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Joanna Kerns, Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Harold Ramis, Andy Dick, Loudon Wainwright III, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, Steve Carell, James Franco.

Of recent times, director/producer Judd Apatow’s collaboration with actor/writer Seth Rogen and their brand of humour, seems to have mass appeal. It has brought success with “The 40 year old Virgin”, “Pineapple Express” & “Superbad” but none better than this outing.

Entertainment TV reporter Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) goes clubbing with her uptight sister (Leslie Mann) to celebrate a surprise promotion. Buoyed by happiness and booze, she hits it off with a friendly slacker called Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) and takes him home for a spot of one-off sex. A series of pregnancy tests later, and a one-night stand is turning into a lifetime commitment.

I have to admit that I put off watching this for quite some time, as I thought it would be just another juvenile ‘dick joke’ film. I was wrong. Well…almost. Apatow’s crude humour is ever present and welcome, but this film doesn’t shy away from dealing with adult situations and relationships also. It’s a very observational comedy, dealing with the myriad of emotions when becoming a parent for the first time. There were moments when I felt like Apatow had been spying on my life, before the birth of my first child. I could empathise and identify with the characters and their mixed emotions. The dialogue is sharp and hilarious, the characters neurotic and the situations very real. It works well both as a comedy and a dramatisation of the most important time in a persons life. The actors all put in great work, especially Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann with the seemingly perfect happy family. The main problem is the running time though, it is just a bit overlong and Apatow seems to have the recurring problem of not knowing when to wrap things up. Towards the end, I began to feel that Heigl (and the film) was so overdue that a hormone injection was needed to help things along. Still, getting there raised all sorts of giggles and delivered some good gags.

Like the baby itself…an unexpected joy.

Mark Walker

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