We Know Our Target Audience And They Want More Knocked Up And They Want It Now
by Molly Lambert
“My way of dealing with the world has always been to make fun of it and observe it but not take part in it,” Apatow told me when we first met in the fall of 2005. “That’s how I became a writer. But when you have kids, suddenly you have to be part of things. It leads almost to a breakdown because your whole defense mechanism is now really destructive.”
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From the trivia for “Knocked Up” which I saw today: The film’s translation in Russia is “A little bit pregnant.”
Anne Hathaway was originally cast as “Alison Scott” in this film but dropped out due to creative issues with the script. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kate Bosworth auditioned for the part after Hathaway dropped out but ended up losing to Katherine Heigl.
The reason Hathaway dropped out was because she didn’t want the shots of the baby crowning. She was grossed out that people might think it was actually her vagina. By the way, that is the most vagina that has ever been in a movie to my knowledge. (ed. clearly you haven’t seen the mass of modern cinema). At least the baby didn’t have hair! In most of my movies, all the male characters will have really subtle erections in every scene.
Kristen Wiig fucking killed it. You meant to call her “the funny new girl” on SNL not “the funny girl.” All those chicks are funny. Seriously, there’s not a Molly Shannon in the bunch. And even she was great in “Year of the Dog.” Judd Apatow and Mike White’s friendship is totally over because of Mike White’s comments to the NY Times.
“To me, I definitely stand in the corner of wanting to give voice to the bullied, and not the bully. Here’s where comedy is catharsis for people who are picked on. There’s a strain in Knocked Up where you sort of feel like something’s changed a little bit. My sense of it is that because those guys are idiosyncratic-looking, their perception is that they’re still the underdogs. But there is something about the spirit of the thing, that comes under the guise of comedy, where — it’s weird. At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied.”
Also Leslie Mann is hilarious and I will have none of your sass. Though there were a few points where I wondered if she’d had a (terrible) nosejob. Plus the women had mostly less fun roles to play (just like in life!). Katherine Heigl was totally winning and Charlene Yi also killed it. She was Jodie and I’ll do a post on her soon. She’s gonna blow up. She’s just a super weird Korean girl who’s kind of like a way more wacked out (yes really) Miranda July.
Heigl in younger days
Anyway I think the point of “Knocked Up” is how depressing it is. Apatow’s whole credo, from his mentor Garry Shandling is about finding the comedy in the pain of real life. “40 Year Old Virgin” was about how love can help you transcend the banality of life. “Knocked Up” is about how that idea is an illusion, that eventually reality will set back in and you’ll be just as miserable as before. It’s a much harder idea to swallow, obviously. While “40 Year Old Virgin” had the most “up” ending of any movie in years, “Knocked Up” has a downer ending masquerading as a happy ending. You kind of go “Yay…?”
This is one of those movies that will live forever on DVD. Whose poster will crown the dorms of the future like the Pink Floyd and “Fear and Loathing” posters on Rogen’s character’s wall. Paul Rudd is the king, and maybe the only man that all humans can agree is totally super dreamy. (He’s a Jew from Kansas! He was class president!) The Vegas trip is classic (“You’re so money! You have so much money!”). I loved the chairs.
I laughed at all sorts of weird things in this movie (Dr. Pellegrino?) and I imagine the nonstop hilarity does blunt the edge of the seriousness of its ideas i.e. men are selfish babies, women are unfairly burdened with responsibilities and then villainized when they complain about it, and don’t get better looking with age, and get hurt feelings when Alex trivializes the necessity of jokes about women getting older.
Molly Lambert is this recording’s senior contributor.