Yesterday, this column reviewed “The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” the first film directed by well-respected director Judd Apatow. His second film, “Knocked Up,” was released in 2007. As their titles clearly indicate, Apatow’s forte is comedies built on his character’s sex lives. He also has a gift for depicting immature adult males in ways that endear them to audiences.
The film stars Seth Rogen as Ben Stone, a benevolent slacker who lives in an unkempt house with several similarly unambitious roommates. The motley crew spends much of its time either getting high or working on their website, which will tell people about nude scenes in movies. One night at a nightclub, Ben meets the very pretty Alison Scott (played Katherine Heigl), who is out with her married sister, Debbie (played by Leslie Mann). They are celebrating Alison‘s promotion at the television network E! Ben and Alison have several drinks and go to Alison’s house, where they inadvertently have unprotected sex. The morning after is awkward with the more focused Alison realizing that Ben lacks any real direction. Several weeks later, Alison learns she is pregnant. After deciding against an abortion, she and Ben try to be a couple, which their different values makes quite challenging.
“Knocked Up” features a great cast. Seth Rogen is hilarious. He is not very smart, but he does love Alison. Katherine Heigl is equally good. Her character is much smarter, yet she is not perfect. The best performance in the film is by Leslie Mann, who spends a lot of time nagging her husband. The communication struggles of the middle-aged couple will ring true to many viewers.
Although it is a little long, “Knocked Up” is a great comedy and a worthy follow-up to “The 40 Year-Old Virgin.” It is a good choice to watch before seeing “Neighbors,” a new comedy starring Seth Rogen, which opens this weekend.