MOVIE REVIEWS: Knocked Up and The Simpsons Movie

Sometimes, after eight years of marriage, my wife can still surprise me. In late July, the movie Knocked Up was showing only twice a day at the Spectrum Theater, at 1:10 and 9:40 pm, and I figured we’d just have to write the film off. No, she said, why don’t we get a babysitter and see the 9:40 pm show? On a Tuesday, a school night. This from a woman who generally wants to be in bed by 9:40 pm.

I was recounting that story to one of my racquetball mates. He told me that he had gone into the theater, watched Knocked Up for ten minutes, then walked out, disgusted.

Well, yeah, it IS one of that type of movies. Yet at its core, Judd Apatow’s film is VERY traditional – talk about “do the right thing” – and very sweet. Seth Rogan, who I’ve been following since the late, lamented Freaks and Geeks TV show, plays stoner Ben Stone, who, on a one-night stand, impregnates TV anchor Alison Scott, played by Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl. Leslie Mann is Debbie, Alison’s sister, and Paul Rudd is Pete, Debbie’s somewhat beleaguered husband.

Ultimately, the drug-induced humor wore thin for me, but the relationship humor was often dead on. We laughed a lot, cringed a bit, but the funny stuff ultimately won out. My favorite line in the movie is when Alison says to her doctor, “But we have a birth plan!” which may not have the same effect if you haven’t been in a delivery room lately.

I was surprised what didn’t bother me: Heigl’s character bedding the nerdy guy here, just like Heigl’s Izzy Stevens slept with insecure George on Grey’s Anatomy.

Even more raucous than The 40-Year Old Virgin, which I liked a bit more, I’d recommend the film, but not to those easily grossed out.
As for the Simpsons Movie, which I saw alone in mid-August at the Madison Theater (because my wife was out of town, and not interested anyway), it was what many people have already said; a pretty good extra long episode of the show. I did like Bart and Flanders’ relationship and Grandpa’s religious experience. I know a couple people who’ve worked for the EPA, so thought it rather funny that the agency could be so efficient. It was a knowing touch to make the current governor of California the President, since, constitutionally, he cannot be. But my favorite scene was Homer and Marge, alone save for those Disney animals; I laughed out loud.
Note to Lefty: This is the real question:


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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