Knocked Up isn’t quite as funny as it has been built up to be, but it is as funny and as emotionally true as any comedy has been in a long time. Seth Rogen is Ben, a schlub the schlubs among us can root for. He gets lucky one night and hooks up with a chick well beyond his league (Katherine Heigl). She gets pregnant; he has to shape up and be a dad.
Simple tale, well told. The character work is strong from the leads, and equally well-supported by the supporting cast. Notable turns include Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Charlyne Yi, Ryan Seacrest and Ken Jeong.
Because we do care about the characters, the second half of the film, where they face hardships and turn against each other, is less funny. The Graduate was also this way. The only thing I really missed in the back half was a reconciliation between Seth Rogen’s character and Paul Rudd’s.
Knocked Up is not a wacky comedy like 40-Year-Old Virgin sometimes was; it’s more of a screwball comedy, in that the male and female leads are perfectly imperfect for each other. While Katherine Heigl wisely plays it straight, Seth Rogen mostly does too. I think writer/director Judd Apatow may have discovered a new form of romantic comedy in the wild: the Accidental Baby Brings Us Together Tale.