Knocked Up (2007)

Rated: R Grade: BHBC=C+
Directed by: Jude Apatow, who previously made the 40 Year Old Virgin but has written Fun with Dick and Jane and Celtic Pride, as well as producing Talladega Nights, Kicking and Screaming, and Anchorman.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Johan Hill, and Martin Starr with cameos by Harold Ramis and Joanna Kerns.

Summary: While celebrating her promotion to on-air host at E TV, Alison winds up getting drunk and going home with Ben, a drug-using degenerate, who gets her pregnant. She decides to keep the baby and he decides to be involved, so they try to make a relationship work against the advice of her family.

Entertainment Value: B Okay. This is funny like Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle or Borat is funny. It’s way over-the-top vulgarity that is incredibly clever. The thing that kept it from being more entertaining was the feeling that virtually every step in the plot was impossible in real life, especially the decision to try to make a relationship with the father work.

Superficial Content: H, yes H. As in ABCDEFGH. Which if about right if I gave Borat a W. Drugs/Alcohol F, Sexuality F, Violence B, Language F, Illegality(other than drugs) B. This movie should be rated NC-17, although, in fairness, we watched the unrated version, which is usually the only one the video stores stock. There are many graphic sex scenes with nudity, limitless profanity, and continual drug use and reference. Just to give you an idea, the five friends are working to create a website that would index movies showing nudity of major female stars. I’m sure the movie could have been made cleaner, a lot cleaner, but at some point the overall impact would have been lost. Nonetheless, even I found it shocking.

Significant Content: B There are three main lessons I think people might draw from this movie if they’re paying attention. The first is obvious. Be careful who you have sex with because that person may wind up being a parent with you. The second is that men left to themselves are total barbarians but can choose to become productive members of society if they are required to do so by the right woman in marriage. The third is that no matter how inconvenient an unwanted pregnancy is, giving birth and trying to provide that child with two parents is the best option. The downside is that drugs are never really treated as problematic.

Artistic/Thought Value: C I’m torn on this one. It’s certainly not great art. But it’s also a pretty unique movie which has a point, unlike most of the similarly vulgar comedies I’ve seen. So how do you advertise a message like this to the people who most need to hear it? Probably in this manner. They’re not exactly going to Wednesday night Bible study, you know? And how often do you find a vulgar comedy like this preaching an abstinence and pro-life message anyhow?

Discussion Questions:
  • What do you think of a Christian who finds a movie this vulgar to be entertaining?
  • Do you think the pro-life and abstinence messages of this film are likely to have an impact on the people likely to watch it?
  • What do you think of Pete’s participation in a fantasy sports league without his wife’s knowledge? How does it compare with a sexual affair? Compare that with the Las Vegas trip.
  • Why is it so important to women to be seen as sexually desirable? Is this a healthy desire?
  • How much of a reflection of reality do you think this movie is?
Overall Grade: C+ If you don’t mind all the awful content, it’s worth watching. If you do, then pass by quickly. This is certainly no charming barely R-rated romantic comedy.

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