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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 36.27%
Average: 7.84%
Pretty Bad: 1.96%
Total Crap: 7.84%

9 reviews, 48 user ratings

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Knocked Up
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by Lybarger

"Who knew that unwanted pregnancy could be so uplifting?"
4 stars

As he demonstrated with “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” writer-director Judd Apatow has a unique ability to make sordid subject matter come off sweetly. In his hands, “Knocked Up,” a movie that deals with unprotected sex, rampant drug use, marital dysfunction and, of course, unwanted pregnancy ends up being heartwarming and achingly funny. Apatow may want to consider a future in horror movies because he can gross out viewers without insulting their intelligence.

The story for “Knocked Up” is thin and unevenly paced, but it’s an ideal platform for Apatow’s exquisitely crafted tastelessness. Katherine Heigl (“Gray’s Anatomy”) stars as Alison, an up-and-coming cable TV producer who’s eager to celebrate being in front of the camera for a change.

Her wild night out with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann, Apatow’s wife) leads to a passionate one night stand with Ben (Seth Rogen). During the evening, he seems a friendly, if pudgy fellow, whose charm has lead her to bed.

In the light of the morning, however, Ben has dozens of issues that prevent him from being a good lifetime mate. He doesn’t have a job, is practically married to his bong and is only interested in setting up an online database of starlet nudity. How he can stay alive on such a miniscule income seems miraculous, but his lack of ambition saves him from most expenses.

Needless to say, she keeps her distance from Ben once breakfast is over.

Unfortunately, Ben’s only apparent virtue is that he’s fertile. Alison reluctantly contacts Ben again, and the two slowly adapt to their new situation. If learning to love someone you’ve barely met weren’t challenging enough, both are children of divorce, and Debbie’s marriage to her music executive Pete (Paul Rudd) doesn’t offer them much hope.

That’s about all there is to the story, but what makes “Knocked Up” entertaining is watching Ben gradually evolve from a confirmed slacker into a functional adult. Apatow and Rogen manage to make the eventual transformation seem convincing and natural. Rogen has proven he can be quite funny, but here he actually demonstrates enough range to carry a film.

As the anal retentive Alison, Heigl’s manages a nice counterpoint to Rogen, and Apatow gets the most out of his supporting cast. Rogen and Rudd were hysterically funny during the “you know how I know you’re gay” sequence in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and coaxes similar results this time. During a Vegas sequence, you’ll never think of Cirque do Soleil quite the same way again.

Even walk-on characters shine in “Knocked Up.” Charlyne Yi is side-splitting as the inebriated girlfriend of Ben’s stoner roommates. She only has four or five lines but manages to steal every scene she’s in.

The film works because Apatow demonstrates a genuine affection for his characters even as he mocks their foibles. Parenthood, now matter how well it works out in the end, is a frightening process, and childrearing is guaranteed to challenge the most stable of couples, much less a duo who’ve only recently become acquainted.

Ben’s bong buddies (Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr) may never do anything useful with their lives, but Apatow makes them as caring as they are lazy.

Fans of Apatow’s old series “Freaks and Geeks” should definitely check out “Knocked Up.” Several of the show’s stars have either cameos or major roles, and even its creator Paul Feig can be spotted in one scene.

“Knocked Up” feels a tad long during its two hour running time. Nonetheless, the dead spots in “Knocked Up” are far more entertaining than the punchlines in most comedies.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 06/01/07 20:00:00
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell very funny 4 stars
8/31/12 roscoe hilarious, but it went on for way too long 4 stars
7/24/11 art I change my mind,IT"S DISGUSTING! 1 stars
7/14/09 the dork knight The men are too angelic, the women evil shrews. Still, could do worse... 4 stars
6/17/09 art SAD! 1 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. KH is a mormon?! 4 stars
9/14/08 Natalie Myers Too bad KH has gotten mean. Heard she might go back to Mormonism. But would they have her? 2 stars
8/20/08 Phil M. Afficiando Very quick, inventive, spontaneous. A 4.5 rounded up cuz it's hard to do this genre well. 5 stars
8/17/08 mr.mike Agree with daveyt. Heigl and Mann are very good. 3 stars
8/10/08 Samantha Pruitt very funny and smart, but i thought Superbad had more laughs, love Seth Rogan! 4 stars
5/24/08 Karrie Millheim Funny and romantic in a way, funny seeing Seacrest cussin 5 stars
4/17/08 daveyt sort of amusing, ish... 3 stars
1/31/08 Beck Impressive love story breaking free of the hollywood story book. 5 stars
1/20/08 Carmen Crowe Used to like Katherine Heigl, but would rather see he knocked down than this! 2 stars
1/18/08 X Wang Funnier than I expected - and it actually has story line 4 stars
1/03/08 Annoyed Simply a horrible movie; unbelievable, full of stupid, un-likable characters. Not funny. 1 stars
12/17/07 gr Seth Rogen was fantastic! 4 stars
12/14/07 Bnorm So funny...maybe cause Steely Dan gargles my balls hahaha 5 stars
12/08/07 Sam Eli Hilarious and touching. That's all I have to say 5 stars
10/17/07 Beau It was pretty funny! catherine heigi was brilliant! 4 stars
10/16/07 fools♫gold Real in all ways - everything a true movie-thinker wishes for. 5 stars
9/21/07 rude if you didnt like the pot and mushroom scenes you are nuts, and bearded guy bashing is grea 5 stars
9/06/07 Good Taste Your average chick flick and its not FUNNY! would never watch again 1 stars
9/03/07 lisa An absolutly boring film the best thing about the film was seeing the credits come up! 1 stars
8/31/07 MP Bartley Touches the heart, rubs the funny KNOW these characters. 4 stars
8/02/07 Luisa Very funny...with real issues...great flick! 4 stars
8/01/07 AJ Muller Just a fucking funny flick. Real in certain ways, fake in others, but hilarious. 5 stars
7/20/07 Ole Man Bourbon Entertaining, but often ridiculously implausible and even stressful at times. 4 stars
7/19/07 Jake B The Year's Best Film! 5 stars
7/17/07 Emma freiken hilarious!!! lame in some parts, but mainly hilarious!!! 4 stars
6/18/07 Aussihunter Better than 40 year old virgin. No i'm serious it is. Seth Rogen rules 5 stars
6/15/07 Cheeky So unplanned pregnancies just magically 'work out' for the best. Yeah right. 1 stars
6/12/07 bjjones Only for low-class very immature men...Horrible movie! 1 stars
6/11/07 Lynn Unbelievably funny film. Sex scene with Allison pregnant had me laughing so hard! 5 stars
6/09/07 Simon Excellently hilarious. 5 stars
6/06/07 gr117 Hi-friggin-larious! 5 stars
6/06/07 party boy the movie was awesome if anybody disagrees kiss my @$$ 5 stars
6/05/07 Nolamc slap your leg laughter! Loved it! 5 stars
6/04/07 lee you will laugh the whole way through, and you have every right to. 5 stars
6/04/07 Doug Fantastic. 5 stars
6/04/07 James Eric as good as it gets 5 stars
6/04/07 Liz Wonderful comedy. Heartwarming but also gut-wrenchingly hilarious! Perfect. 5 stars
6/04/07 baba awesome 5 stars
6/04/07 daniel k perfect 5 stars
6/03/07 Damon Funny and poignant. Best comedy I have seen in years. 5 stars
6/02/07 Dan Very enjoyable romcom, though the Heigl-Rogan relationship was too unbelievable to buy into 4 stars
6/02/07 Abbath Funniest movie in years. Too many funny lines to reminice on. 5 stars
6/02/07 not a moron Worse than Bad Boys 2. A LOT worse! 1 stars
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  01-Jun-2007 (R)
  DVD: 25-Sep-2007



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