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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Judd Apatow's KNOCKED UP

Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up

I loved 40-Year-Old Virgin, so when I found out about director Judd Apatow's follow-up, Knocked Up, all those months ago, I was already stoked.

Then the positive reviews started coming in, and the film became one of the best-reviewed wide releases of the year.

Even more anticipation from me.

I had the chance to see it in Sydney last month, but my attempts to invite friends to see that with me were in vain, their tastes in films were much too refined and highbrow compared to one like me, so they were even less convinced when I told them about the film's premise ("er, a guy accidentally left a gal pregnant after a one-night stand, he learns to take responsibility etc."). Heh, the more I hang out with my much cultured and artistic friends, the more I feel that populist entertainment such as this film are overlooked.

Was surprised to see that this film was shown in Malaysia (albeit with numerous silly cuts), went to see it by myself, because my attempts to invite friends to see that with me were STILL in vain, this time, the lack of star power, lack of explosions and also the fact that not that many people saw 40-Year-Old Virgin in Malaysia (film was banned) are the factors why no one cared that much about Knocked Up, though I also have to point out that the film was dumped into theaters without much fanfare. Just a poster hidden at the corner of the multiplex, that was it.

Watching Knocked Up by myself during a lazy weekday afternoon was a lonely fare, mostly because I found myself giggling at some jokes and obscure pop cultural references that no one in the theaters were laughing at.

In the end, I still think that it's a really good film. It's like a generic romantic comedy, but with more believable characters and plot, much raunchier and funnier and yeah, the relationship is more realistic (many will find it unbelievable that a jobless slacker who looks like Seth Rogen can hook up with someone who looks like Katherine Heigl) since we don't see silly little contrived scenarios that are blatantly used to either separate or put our two main protagonists together (by the time you're reading this, you'll probably assume that I HATE romantic comedies, thus the way I am so damning with its formula... it's unbelievable that it's really the contrary eh?)

I don't think this is as good as 40-Year-Old Virgin, it doesn't break new ground, but the film has such an endearing cast of characters acted so well by Apatow's regulars that it's easy to enjoy the entire journey. There are many scenes that are ridiculously funny, and so many memorable lines too. There's not much that hasn't been said about the film, so I'm not going to bother. Just felt that it's a pity so few that I know had bothered to give the film a chance merely because it seemed too 'crude' and 'lowbrow' to be taken seriously, when the writing and acting here are so much better than the stuff that pass off as 'profound arthouse films' these days. Thus I like it for its unpretentiousness too. In a summer full of high-profile, big budget duds, this film is a relief.

Thank goodness I'm not elitist enough to write all Hollywood films off completely.

I think Apatow and co. were geniuses to film some small comedic segments during the shoot and post them online. Check out the two following online videos below, both were parodies of the David O'Russell's infamous 'I Heart Huckabees' flip out video that I posted about back in April. Kinda inspired to do the same with my (or Greenlight Picture's, that's the production company I'm in now) future projects.

Michael Cera gets fired from Knocked Up
James Franco gets fired from Knocked Up

Michael Cera gets fired from Knocked Up
Michael Cera gets fired from Knocked Up