2007-06-29 / Columnists

MovieScope

'Knocked Up' - Right to Life Stoner
Review By Robert Snyder

'Knocked Up' - Right to Life Stoner
Review By Robert Snyder

  Its title notwithstanding, "Knocked Up" is a Right-to-Life movie in stoner disguise.

Written and directed by Judd Apatow, "Knocked Up" follows the same subliminal Puritanism as does his 2005 film, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Except here, the message is not abstinence before marriage; it's a do-the-right-thing message for men and woman if a baby is conceived during a drunken one-night stand. And "the right thing" is not the "A-Word" (as in abortion), which is never even enunciated in "Knocked Up."

Also, as in "Virgin," the conservative, family-values message is played out in a world of arrested-development males, hiding from responsibility with non-stop parties and pot pipes.

"Knocked Up's" party king is Ben Stone, the stoner, played by Seth Rogen, basically reprising his doper-dude supporting role in "Virgin." This time, however, slacker Stone is on center stage when he finds himself fathering a child with upwardly-mobile 'E!" Channel host, Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl). Alison is partying away in celebration of a promotion, when she winds up in bed with this guy who would have normally repulsed her passing by on the street.

But after the home pregnancy test proves positive, she not only agrees to have the baby, but ultimately says yes to Seth's out-of-character marriage proposal, with an empty-box, pre-engagement ring.

Loads of laughs cushion the ups and downs of the relationship. The prerequisite insane birthing scene ("Waitress," "Nine Months") results in a beautiful baby. Previously unemployable, freeloading Stone magically gets a great job and a nice apartment. It's happily ever after through title crawl, which shows the child advancing through the years alongside snapshots of the cast and crew's baby pictures.

If only life could be so simple.


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