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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knocked Up

***½ Knocked Up. Romantic comedy.

Directed by: Judd Apatow.

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl

We saw this as part of a double-feature at the Auto-Kino (drive-in).

Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) just got a promotion, so she and her sister go out to celebrate. She has a few too many to drink, meets Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), and has a one-night stand with him.

A few weeks later, she discovers she's pregnant. After some soul-searching and a lot of cringing, she decides she'd better tell Ben. He vows to stick with her and help raise the baby.

Ben lives with his buddies, smokes pot, and they have desultory plans to create a celebrity website, but they don't work on it much. At first, he keeps on with his life the way it is, but little by little, he starts growing up and taking responsibility.

There's a secondary plot with Allison's sister and her husband having a crisis in their marriage that serves to both encourage and warn Allison and Ben about their future.

It was a cute movie, as far as it went. I'm not sure I understand the rave reviews: 7.8 stars on the IMDB for a comedy is amazing. That's the same as The Blues Brothers and Blazing Saddles and Stranger than Fiction got, and this is nowhere in the same league as those. Different tastes, maybe, but those had more going on than just humorous situations. Maybe this one did, too, and I just didn't see it.

I do know that I missed a lot of the one-liners that a lot of people appreciated. They don't tend to translate all that well into German. And the dubbing, while it's done very well here, still makes the dialogue incredibly fast, as German takes half again as many syllables as English to say anything. So I missed the verbal nuances, if there were any.

My favorite part of the movie was Ben's growth, and, to a lesser extent, Allison's. It was presented with humor and sympathy. The problems between Allison's sister and brother-in-law were realistic, but I couldn't sympathize with either of them, which made it less effective for me.

The premise, however, just didn't sit well with me. Because of a one-night stand, this couple is deciding on a permanent commitment to each other. It just made me squirm, and nearly turned the movie into a pro-life propaganda piece. Allison does initially turn down Ben's marriage proposal, but neither of them ever question whether they should be together permanently or not--just whether they should have the little piece of paper.

Much of that has, I admit, more to do with me than with the movie. I've been married 23+ years, and I know how much work marriage is, even when you love each other, and especially when you start off the marriage with a child (our first was born 11 months after we got married, but we didn't live together until after I was already pregnant). Then, too, I have a 22-year-old daughter who's far too prone to trying to make relationships work even when she'd be better off letting go, and I couldn't help seeing her in the same situation.

Ah, well. Maybe a lot of it was lost in translation. It was an entertaining movie to watch for a date night, but I don't think I'll be watching it again in English to see what I missed.


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I've been avoiding it for the same reason -- my inability to get past the political/social undertones, whether they exist or not.

40-year-old Virgin remains one of my favorites, though.
Yes. I'd been trying to think of it as a cheesy marriage-of-convenience romance plot, but I have a very difficult time believing those in a contemporary setting, and I kept going back to thinking it had a conservative agenda.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed 40-year-old Virgin. I'd expected quite a lot less from it. :)
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