Tuesday, June 5, 2007

FILM: Knocked Up

A friend of mine who watched Freaks and Geeks during it's original run encouraged me whenever I saw her to watch her DVD set of the show. To give you an idea of the time period this was in, my reaction had more to do with the fact that TV on DVD was a concept that absolutely bewildered me. I wouldn't participate because I assumed this was some attempt by Satan to lure me into a quicksand pit of temptation which I would never be able to get out of. (I actually can't think of the reason that I didn't watch it.)

When I finally did watch it this past year, it didn't really make any sense to me why more people didn't watch this show. Granted, it was no Saved by The Bell, but Freaks and Geeks really felt like high school. Not that I identified with particular characters, but the interactions between them seemed genuine (or at least culled from Apatow's own experience).

Knocked Up does the exact same thing. There are elements of people you know, and a sincerity in the way they act that hasn't really been seen in comedies of this ilk before. It seems almost similar to the Kevin Smith phenomenon after Clerks came out, that characters in mainstream film begin to talk in a different way. Many comparisons have been made to "frat pack" movies like Anchorman or Wedding Crashers. The latter was on it's way to being some kind of redemptive vehicle for Owen "The Nose" Wilson' character, but managed to lost any convincing motivation in the second act. ("I think I love her" for no real reason).

One thing that got to me about Knocked Up was the little things that Julia Roberts wouldn't necessarily talk about in a simlar role, or at least not as convincingly. Should Ben propose to Alison? How to you approach sex in a relationship context after something like this? And, while pregnancy-sex is expected to be brought up in a supposed gross-out comedy, it seemed to be handled with a frank honesty that I wasn't entirely expecting.

Interesting tips of the hat to Apatow's friends like James Franco (from that spider-thing or whatever project that he's doing). Also: Keep an eye out for the Topher Grace poster that says "FAMOUS PEOPLE AROUND TITS."

I was extremely satisfied by this movie, and they even managed to make the inevitable conclusion have a convincing effect on the characters without making it jokey. There were some downright shocking shots in the climactic sequence, but I think it was necessary to get across the effect of the birth. (hilight to reveal spoilers)

My expectations were high, and Knocked Up still managed to exceed them. This just heightens my excitement for Superbad, coming in August.

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