This Film is NOT a Future Release.
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January 18th, 2007:
For Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl
) it is a big night out to celebrate her recent promotion to on-air interviewer for the E! Entertainment Network. For Ben Stone (Seth Rogen
) it is just a typical drunk evening. However, thanks largely to their excessive inebriation, the two hook-up and have a one-night stand. When it becomes inescapably obvious that they don’t really get along, they go their separate ways. Unfortunately for both, Alison soon finds out that she is pregnant and has to track Ben down. Since she never got his phone number to begin with, the only way she is able to contact him is through the porn website he runs with his buddies (Jonah Hill
, Jason Segel
, Jay Baruchel
, Martin Starr
), fleshofthestars.com. Ben’s reaction to the pregnancy is one of confusion, as he simply cannot imagine giving up his utterly carefree and irresponsible lifestyle. Still, with both of their lives somewhat derailed, the two make a decision to give dating a try. With a little luck, they may actually be each other’s soul mates, but no one is actually betting on that. Despite Ben’s solid effort to prove himself as a responsible adult male capable of fathering a child, the couple continues to have problems. With the dysfunctional marriage between Alison’s sister Debbie (Leslie Mann
) and her brother-in-law Pete (Paul Rudd
) serving as the only example for the new couple, things get even more confusing.What to Expect: Judd Apatow
is easily one of the hottest directors around right now, so hot in fact that he was reportedly offered a chance to direct the upcoming Spider-Man 3
. The bizarre combination of comedy director and comic book franchise never came to fruition and Apatow eventually opted to direct the much smaller scale Knocked Up instead. Interestingly, the summer comedy reportedly features tons of Spider-Man 3 humor in it, but I’m not exactly sure what that is supposed to mean. Personally, I think that Knocked Up is infinitely more up his alley, but I’m still not entirely convinced of the man’s genius. To date, his only successful directorial effort is The 40 Year-Old Virgin – a film that effortlessly weaved high-class with low-class humor and managed to become a genuine hit that turned Steve Carell
into a star. On the other hand, if you only have one hit to your credit, that’s a pretty good one to have, especially if it is also your only directorial effort. Clearly, Apatow is still getting started, which is probably the fairest way to judge his career. His work on critically acclaimed television shows “Freaks and Geeks” and “The Larry Sanders Show” is a testament to his talent, but his screenplays for regrettable features like Celtic Pride and Fun with Dick and Jane are a lot less assuring. Personally, I’m still trying to make up my mind about Apatow, but there’s no escaping the fact that this feature is a highly anticipated one. Article continues below
Shockingly, Knocked Up was written with actor Seth Rogen specifically in mind as the lead. You may remember Rogen as Cal, one of Carell’s sex-starved buddies from The 40 Year-Old Virgin. I would have never guessed that Rogen could be a leading man, but the choice shows that Apatow is mixing things up a bit, which could give some interesting results. Judging by his input in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, I already know that Rogen should be perfectly capable of pulling off the stereotypical slacker character, but whether he can actually become a star is another story. Reportedly, Rogen wanted big sci-fi ideas for Knocked Up before Apatow brought the project back to the ground and settled on the current, much simpler, and probably quite adequate premise.
Looking down the cast list reveals several names that are frequently attached to Apatow’s projects. Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, and Jonah Hill all return after co-starring with Rogen in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. In Knocked Up, Rudd plays the sort of character that Rogen’s Ben might become if he were to get married – a miserable man that’s a slacker at heart, but is worn into submission by the constant demands placed upon him by his wife. Jason Segel and Martin Starr, Rogen’s co-stars in the short-lived “Freaks and Geeks,” have also been given noticeable parts as a couple of Ben’s best friends.
After Anne Hathaway
dropped out as the female lead, Katherine Heigl stepped in as her replacement. Heigl was so deliciously adorable in The Ringer with Johnny Knoxville
that I feel like the filmmakers have made a fine choice by casting her in the picture. Then again, reports from early screenings suggest that Heigl feels a little out of place in the movie, especially when she has to act next to such a wacky group of guys.
Overall, the biggest names featured in Knocked Up will only pop in for quick cameos. Given Heigl’s character’s profession as an entertainment interviewer she is going to run into a whole slew of stars on the red carpet. James Franco
, Jessica Alba
, Orlando Bloom
, Jennifer Garner
, Steve Carell, and Owen Wilson
are all rumored to be playing themselves in the movie. Hosts Debbie Matenopoulos, Ryan Seacrest, and Giuliana DePandi will also play the same on-air personalities we are familiar with. Of course, Heigl’s character will be interviewing many of them in some fake red carpet interviews. There’s been a rumor floating around that Jennifer Garner’s scene in the movie is also one of the film’s funniest moments.
Additionally, Apatow is actually using his own kids in the picture, hoping to utilize their constant mood swings to accurately portray the frequently unpredictable job of being a parent. As cute as that might sound, Knocked Up will almost definitely be an R rated comedy for its crude drug and sex themed humor. There will be lots of dirty language and plenty of nudity as well – some good and some bad. Katherine Heigl reportedly wore a big fake belly with prominent veins throughout the shoot to simulate her pregnancy. There is also a lot of gynecological humor in the flick.
***WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD***
One of the most cringe-inducing scenes during test screenings has been one that actually shows the child birth. The shot of a baby coming out of a vagina has been compared to the infamous pants zipper shot from There’s Something About Mary. It has been rumored, however, that the scene is likely to get cut and end up as a special feature once the movie hits DVD.
***END OF SPOILER***
One of the most fascinating things about Apatow’s productions is just how much room he leaves for improvisation. During a standard movie, approximately 400,000 feet of film are shot. For Knocked Up, Apatow claims to have shot over a million feet, which, according to him, is not that unusual. Apatow tends to allow his actors to keep going after a scene has finished. As much as any other director, he leaves a ton of room for improvisation. By giving the actors so much freedom he’s hoping that the productive atmosphere will help generate some incredible dialogue that will surpass the writing found within the pages of his screenplays. Consequently, however, many complained about the film’s running time. Since it does go over the two-hour mark, Knocked Up will need some serious cuts to make the length a little more appropriate. A lot of the improvised stuff will probably not make it into the final version of the movie.In Conclusion:
Knocked Up sounds a lot like a rip-off of the 1997 Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek
comedy Fools Rush In, but it approaches the subject from a slightly different angle. In reality it doesn’t matter what movie it resembles as long as it is going to improve things. At the end of the day, however, when all the raunchiness is summed up, Knocked Up is bound to feature an equivalent amount of balance and morality. Much like the Farrelly
Brothers comedies, it is going to find a way to combine the crudeness with some genuine tenderness. Apatow has admitted that the movie serves as a way for him to vent a lot of his thoughts about being an adult, doing the right thing, and constantly growing and learning as a person. But, this seems to be exactly what sells tickets and as syrupy as it may be, it would be foolish for Apatow to change that winning formula now. The film’s recent move from an August to a June release date is a very good omen and I wouldn’t be surprised if the flick equals the success of The 40 Year-Old Virgin. I’m sure the advertising will be there to prop the flick up and help it become one of the biggest comedy hits of the summer season.Similar Titles: The 40 Year-Old Virgin
, Shallow Hal
, American Pie