10.19.2007

Knocked Up (2007)

Knocked Up is a romantic comedy. It stars Katherine Heigl (Izzie from "Grey's Anatomy"), and Seth Rogen. It follows the formula of the pregnancy comedy, and reminds me of the film Nine Months.

From the title, it's not that much of a leap to infer the plot. Heigl plays Alison Scott, a young women who is suddenly on the up and up in her broadcasting career at an "Entertainment Tonight" style show. When she learns she is going on camera the next day for the first time, she and her sister decide to celebrate by having a drink at the local clubbing hot spot. Soon, the two are loosened up under the influence, and they meet Ben Stone (Rogen). If Ben's mission in life is to do nothing, then he is wildly successful. We learn later that he and some buddies basically do nothing under the guise of building a web site (after fourteen months they only have an "under construction" sign up on their URL). Their other activities could be euphemized as "recreational pharmaceutical consumption," better known as pothead in 60's slang. Alison, intoxicated, invites Ben home, and a few weeks later figures out that she's pregnant, after clearing a shelf of home pregnancy kits from the local pharmacy (seriously, they're pretty accurate, so if you get the plus on the first test, it's time to see the ob/gyn), hence the title.

The predictable rest follows suit. Alison has to find Ben, who she knows very little about. Will she want to be with him? Will he want to own up to his responsibility? Yeah, it's mostly been done before, but not this week so it had some entertainment value.

There were some humorous scenes including when Alison deals with the issue of her pregnancy at her job, or Ben's discourse on how he supports himself at the forever frathouse. As someone who has caught a few babies back in the day, and was delivered by "the new partner" himself, I found the sections that dealt with the finding of the obstetrician and the discussions at the delivery to be the most funny. I will admit that I've seen quite a few woman throw their natural childbirth plan right out the window once the contractions started, and take out the pain on their OB.

So, what's wrong with this film? It's too darn long. I viewed the uncut DVD, which weighed in at 2:15. I can't recall another comedy being that long, and it implies to me that at least a half an hour (if not even more) needed to be on the cutting room floor. Director Garry Marshall understands that sometimes scenes need to be sacrificed to maintain the pace of the story, but that wasn't done here so the pace is v-e-r-y s-l-o-w. Even more astonishing is that there were even more deleted scenes on the DVD! This film needed a healthy dose of nip & tuck. I get that Ben and his friends are a bunch of slackers, but by the third scene of them sitting on the sofa pontificating on life, the universe, and every other nonsense it's just overkill, and doesn't advance anything.

All right, let's come to a final verdict. Knocked Up is a decent comedy in serious need of a tighter edit. The acting is reasonably good, and the plot is predictable, but there is some decent humor. It's good enough for a DVD rental, and viewing once. Just don't think you have to own it.

Overall Grade: B-

Reviewed by Jonas

2 comments:

DCNofer said...

Thanks for your review! I didn't see that movie because it didn't appeal to me at the time of release. Your review gave me some more insight into the movie than the preview did. By the way, you've piqued my curiosity -- what did you mean, "I've seen quite a few woman ... take out the pain on their OB"? Best.

digitaldoc said...

I mean that the labor and delivery ward is a noisy place, and I've seen women that yelled first at their husband, and after he ran out to "get a soda," the yelling turned to the doc. They did apologize after the delivery though.