I think it's as funny as "40 Year Old Virgin", and for the same reasons. Extremely high concept executed with characters acting believably. Apatow is cognizant that strong comedies need to be anchored in reality. If there's a strong anchor, you can then stretch the material in many ways, and most importantly allow a dramatic layer to remain intact. There's a good 25 minute section in this film that is really not comedic at all - and that shift from believable comical (even hysterical) scenarios to the believable straight & dramatic, is actually pretty seamless. The reason? The "drama" level was always subtext.
I applaud in the little touches and character quirks in the piece. Many scenes seem to start from a familiar place, but become truly unpredictable due to the screenwriters seriously contemplating the scenarios (The bouncer scene late in the film is a good example).
I think the women in my theater were digging it even more than men. Should definitely have legs.
Katherine Heigl is beautiful and pretty great in this (Perhaps even star making). Seth Rogen reminded me of a less neurotic Albert Brooks. He came across as truly lovable and sweet without the film in any way diluting the dramatic impact of his pathetic loserdom.
There's an in-joke regarding that film in the story.
I also agree with Robert that one has to look at this film (in comparison to 40 Year Old Virgin) as a maturing of Apatow's art.
Just got back from seeing it. Definately liked it. Although in terms of riotous comedy, I do think I prefered "Virgin" but it's kind of an apples to oranges comparison as "Knocked Up" had much more of a dramatic element than "Virgin" did. I wonder how much longer the inevatable unrated version on DVD will be.
Yeah, it's always a bit of a turn off to see pretty women talk like sailors as in this film.
BTW who was the woman in the film who worked for E! who gave kept making those blunt comments in the Boss's office. She looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place her.
Well, if anything, it should make for an interesting feature on the DVD. However, I don't remember seeing anything like that on those channels. Occaisionly, I would come across "A Baby Story" on, I think, The Learning Channel or something like it and they would always blur out any vaginal shots. It kind of pissed me off in a way because it just seemed so dumb to censor it as it was a purely non-exploitave, natural thing going on (not that I was really dying to see all the gory detail, just the principle that dictated that it needed to be censored.) Which, ironically, is probably the exact reason that Apatow "got away with it."
I know it's a matter of personal preference and taste and all that--but this, as a valid complaint, seems SO archaic and empty. The falsely puritanical mores attached to "cusswords" are so baffling anymore. For a movie as emotionally honest and real as this one is, to nitpick because frustrated young people are saying "Fuck" and "Shit" a lot seems almost like missing the point.
I didn't mean that as a criticism of the film. I know it's realistic dialogue and I don't fault the fim at all for it. Yes, like you said, it was just a personal observation and nothing to do with what I thought of the film at all. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
I have no problem with language. It's just that at times, the use of language means that dialog that could be saying something is broken up in a way that doesn't tell me anything. Hell, I'm in the "younger set" and I know how people talk, there are times when it feels natural and then there are times where it feels forced. I don't mind it for most of the film, but there are segments where it felt forced and awkward rather then the way the character had been setup. That's all.
Example: her yelling at him to get the f*(& out of her car.. that was natural. But there were moments when it wasn't natural and came across as out of place.
The only time I can think of where it went over the top was Leslie Mann's over-the-top verbal onslaught at the bouncer. And I thought it worked perfectly, in the tradition of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, especially considering how long the pressure had been building in that very wound up character.
Actually, my wife & I gritted our teeth at the scene in the clinic right after the car fight. If you did have that kind of fight (F*(& you hormones!) there would be no going back, that would absolutely end the film, we both thought. In that way, it stepped over a fight you could get over to one that came across as that unforgivable. It's not the language, it's the way it was used and how the scene came across. Look, I think anyone who's been married has had one or two big fights. But in that scene - which was played to great effect - the language didn't come across as particularly believable. For the rest of the film, he comes across as this dorky guy who's comfortable around his boys but not-so-comfortable around women. Here you've got him just blowing up in an OBGYN's office in a way that somewhere inside of him has to trigger the "I'm passing the point of no return". The moment he uttered "buy some pink s*&t" I thought: this movie should end.
And I LOVED the film. But I'm telling you, if there was ever a fight ala that in our marriage, it would be OVER, the next day. That's where the film strained credibility with me, because I felt while they showed them apart the forgiveness was all settled with a bath scene and then all was right with the world.
It just wouldn't work that way. That's the thing. I didn't mind the scene where she bitched out a bouncer, it was loose and it was biting and it was sarcastic, but when it gets tossed around intentionally to hurt people in a way that I didn't think was in character or in line with how the story had to flow, then it's harder for me to buy into.
If Apatow wanted to make it where the next scene after that she decided to find out he had a job and get a lawyer to take his crap and garnish any of his wages, it would have made sense.
I love the film, and I got where they were going with that scene. I just think it went "too far" in how vitriolic they wanted to play it. It crossed from being a big fight into something else.
I felt that way as it was going on. Yes, it was a cringe, but I felt a lot like my wife did. She turned to me and said "in the real world, that would end everything, a total burned bridge" and I agreed. Since there wasn't any real reconciliation over it, it made it all the more forced and used just for the value to use it without having any character redemption on the other end.
Look, I praised the film in the review thread. I think it's drop down funny. But I think it could have been a more believable with a few changes that, yes, would require toning down a scene here or there.
Okay, I get you there, but you gotta remember--just because YOUR marriage wouldn't proceed past a fight to a knock-down drag-out like that (and you're lucky you've got it like that, although you don't need me telling you
) that doesn't mean the movie is flawed or that the dialog there is out of line. I mean, I guess for you it is, and that's all that really matters, for you, but I thought for sure you were going to mention the bouncer--or Jonah Hill's rant about shaved pubes ("My shit looked like a fucking stuffed animal!") not the OBGYN fight.
He's frustrated and looking for a reward that he didn't really earn. He wants credit for walking 3 miles to be at the doctor thing as a sign he really IS being responsible--without recognizing why he got kicked out of the car in the first place. without really wanting to be responsible. That's a lot of confused frustration coming to the surface. And she's shook like crazy after watching her sister's marriage quietly disintegrating over the motivation behind sneaking around for Fantasy Baseball. And she's, at that point, like 7 months pregnant. There are levels of emotional irrationality that are pretty incomprehensible to almost ANYONE who isn't in the situation.
To me, the push to discomfort came a LOT earlier than the scene at the OBGYN, but instead, when she actually stopped the car and kicked him out. In the middle of nowhere. in the middle of the street. AND THEN WOULDN'T LET HIM BACK IN THE CAR. I understood why he'd be so ridiculously pissed by the time he got to the hospital, because probably after a mile or so towards the hospital, the futility of what he was doing was kicking in and yet he plowed on anyway. For me, if my girl had started an argument in the middle of a bit of hyper-emotional irrationality brought on by my poisoning her womb with my insipid seed, and it ended with me being KICKED OUT OF THE CAR in the middle of nowhere--I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, but I'd imagine I'd probably wind up near "Buy some pink shit" territory as well. Or at least I'd understand why someone else would.
I've been in situations where I've witnessed more than 2 or 3 different arguments between a pregnant woman and her mildly irresponsible husband. It gets ugly. If anything, I thought that scene was dialed back compared to how heated things can get in that situation. But that was in no way a deal-breaker. it was a series of dick moves, but I didn't find that scene at all unrealistic. "Fuck you, hormones" shouldn't end a relationship, and even though he's being barely responsible and asking for a reward cookie there, he's at least being HONEST about the target of his frustration: The hormones. Not her, the hormones. He's blowing up like a guy who is very uncomfortable and worn out from trying to fit in and do the cake and eat it too existence of being "Responsible" but not letting go of his infantile crap.
I thought the reconciliation was one of those slow, closing the distance at a decent pace kind of reconciliations, over the phone between work and sleep, so when he showed up at her house, the almost perfunctory "look, we'll deal with it later." fit, for me.