Reviewed by: Chris Sosa
|Featuring:||Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Katherine Heigl, Jason Segel|
|Director:||Judd Apatow—“The 40 Year Old Virgin” (Writer, Producer, Director), “Fun with Dick and Jane” (screenplay), “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (Producer), “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (Producer)|
|Producer:||Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Shauna Robertson|
“Save the due date”
As far as comedy/dramas are concerned, nobody could accuse “Knocked Up” of being unoriginal. The main plot takes the movie staple of the one-night-stand to a new level, with this particular one-night-stand actually resulting in a pregnancy. This pregnancy forces the unexpecting couple to make some very serious choices about their life much sooner than either of them had anticipated. And adding to the awkwardness of the entire situation is that they’ve only met each other once, and that being the drunken night which resulted in the pregnancy. What follows is a mixture of drama and comedy throughout the many plot-twists relating to relationships, pregnancy, and childbirth. And dealing with such issues has never looked as realistic in mainstream cinema as they appear in “Knocked Up”.
For those concerned with content, ignore the rating. This movie is strong evidence against the MPAA, as certain content factors that should appear clearly in the rating are oddly not present. This is most true in the area of sexual content. There are numerous scenes of graphic sexual activity and nudity. The scenes of sex, while not showing everything, have very explicit movement and dialogue. This is especially true of one scene in which the couple is forced to try out new methods, being that the baby’s father is afraid of harming the baby. As for nudity, there are numerous instances of topless nudity, which are purely exploitative in nature. This is especially true of one Las Vegas scene in which the women appear in thongs, at the disposal of their male customers. Another recurring theme involves the lead character and his roommates creating a Web site detailing the timing of nude scenes for various actresses. The audience is nearly always shown the pornographic footage being examined by the characters. Posters also contain nudity throughout the movie. And on a less sexual note, a live childbirth is graphically shown in quick flashes.
This movie’s dialogue is unashamedly crass. Being that this is a comedy, such dialogue is to be expected. Surprising was exactly how crass the dialogue became. It far surpassed the dialogue of an average R-rated film. I would cite examples of such dialogue, but it was so crass, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so. For anyone offended by the humor of Chris Rock, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Sarah Silverman, and the like, they would be best served avoiding this film.
Language and drug content are also both pervasive. Very strong language is constant. F-words were too numerous to keep count. At one point, language actually exceeds the F-word as the C-word is used. And naturally, moderate language is also pervasive. The drug content consists of seeing various characters using multiple types of illegal drugs. This behavior does not seem to be heavily discouraged.
So now comes the time to discuss the film from a Christian viewpoint, which is very confusing for this movie. While the film contains much vulgar and crass content, there are numerous excellent morals. The most admirable, in this reviewer’s opinion, was the discussion of abortion, in which the suggestion was immediately shot-down. Another very positive aspect of this film dealt with the lead characters truly attempting to make a relationship work, as the father of the child takes his responsibility to be there for the woman very seriously. While certain aspects of their relationship do not necessarily fit into what would be considered acceptable in Christianity, they obviously try to make right decisions as much as they know how. Themes of true love, parental responsibility, and healthy married relationships are also present.
As for direct spiritually related content, this film is devoid of any—surprising considering the previously mentioned themes present throughout.
Artistically speaking, this film is a little above average. The plot is relatively well-devised, but becomes slightly confused towards the end. Cinematography is very good considering the film’s genre. Also above-par is the level of acting. All of the characters turn out a superior performance to what is expected in a comedy/drama. Another surprising element is the realism of the film. It’s nice to see that at least some movies deal with life-issues in a realistic manner.
In closing, this is not a film I could not recommend from a Christian perspective. It’s simply too dirty. This is actually one of the first times I’ve referred to a film as dirty, but I could not find one logical reason for some of the content in this film beyond pure exploitation. The scriptwriters probably made a mistake in including such vulgar content, as they have isolated a large portion of what would be their target audience. And this is disappointing, as the film has a lot of truly funny moments, a good plot, and numerous unusually responsible themes.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.