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KNOCKED UP

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Seth Rogan, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann
Director:  Judd Apatow
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1
Video:  Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio:  Universal
Features:  See Review
Length:  133 Minutes
Release Date:  September 25, 2007

“I had the chicken pox three times.  I have no immunity to it.”

“We don’t have the heart to tell him it’s herpes.”

Film ***1/2

Boy meets girl, boy gets girl pregnant, boy and girl try to do the right thing even though they seem incompatible in every way.  Ain’t love grand?

Knocked Up has to be the funniest movie of the year…if I laughed harder at any film so far, I don’t remember it.  Writer/director Judd Apatow, who gave us the equally hilarious The 40-Year-Old Virgin, has delivered a laugh riot about the ups and downs of a relationship thrown together by happenstance.  The ups are very sweet.  The downs are a whole lot funnier.

Alison Scott (the radiant Heigl) is an up-and-comer at the E television network.  When she gets a chance to step in front of the camera, she goes out celebrating with her married sister Debbie (Mann).  There, she meets the chubby, awkward and geeky Ben Stone (Rogan), whose biggest aspiration is starting an adult website.  There’s no way the two should hook up…but alcohol will do that to you.

Ben’s condom troubles leads to shocking news (or not so shocking if you consider the title of the movie)…Alison is pregnant.  Now not only do they have an impending baby to deal with, they also have to have real meaningful conversations for the first time, and without booze as a lubricant.

Ben provides most of the laughs…he has an earnest cluelessness that’s very likeable.  The film goes through most of the points you might expect in a comedy of this order, but the laughs are almost non stop, except when the movie actually pauses for a surprisingly sweet moment or two.

I could tell you some of the highlights, of which there are many, but that would feel like ticking off a laundry list of the gags, and frankly, my writing isn’t nearly as funny as Apatow’s.  I can’t wait to see what movie he’s got in the oven next (pun intended).

Video ***

No real issues with this anamorphic transfer from Universal…images are well rendered throughout.  By nature, there’s not much in the picture that’s going to hit your viewing screen with big demands, but the overall results are more than satisfactory.

Audio ***

Same with the 5.1 audio…nothing demanding, but clear spoken words and a decent balance of music beds against dialogue.

Features ***1/2

There’s a commentary with Judd Apatow along with Seth Rogen and Bill Hader.  It’s frequently funny, especially some of Hader’s celebrity impressions.  There are 14 deleted scenes, some of which are quite hilarious, plus some extended ones.  “Directing the Director” is a short showing Bennett Miller of Capote coming in to help out.  Rounding out is a gag reel, an amusing short documentary on the roller coaster scenes, and a line-o-rama for some extra humor.

Summary:

Knocked Up is a knockout…this is one of the year’s funniest.

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