By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Raunchy but tender comedy about sex and parenthood.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Yes, there's unprotected sex and rampant drug use, but the consequences of both are made very apparent. Ben and Alison not only decide to have their baby but also to really get to know each other for the child's sake.
Positive Role Models
Ben is far from a role model at the beginning of the film; Alison, while more mature, still engages in risky and foolish behavior. They do eventually grow together in order to "do the right thing," but the funniest part is watching them get there. They are hilarious to watch, but best not look to them for guidance.
Violence & Scariness
Some pushing and shoving.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fairly graphic sex scenes -- not in terms of nudity (although Rogen's bare butt is visible), but in the positions and conversation depicted. Everyone discusses sex, whether it's a married couple casually discussing whether to have it or a group of guys debating whether Ben's gonna get some, etc. There's also a realistic representation of pregnancy that includes a woman's hormonal shifts and sexual needs. At the end, there's an almost documentary-style childbirth scene. There's even movie-within-a-movie nudity (Ben's job is to record whenever an actress gets naked on screen). A couple of fairly brief topless scenes (including one graphic-but-funny lap-dance sequence).
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Lots and lots of cursing -- think Tarantino levels but in a funnier context: Frequent use of "f--k" and all the other standard swear words; "c--t"; various euphemisms for sex and genitalia; colorful insults.
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Products & Purchases
E! Entertainment Television, Ryan Seacrest, Spider-Man 3.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Ubiquitous marijuana use and pot paraphernalia among Ben and his friends. Ben and Pete do mushrooms and hallucinate. Alison and Ben get incredibly drunk before their one-night stand. Clubgoers are shown drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up earns its R rating with drug use, strong language (it's constant, particularly "f--k"), nudity, and nonstop explicit conversations about sex. Teenagers will want to see it, especially if they saw Virgin. But be advised -- the main character and his roommates spend nearly all of their time high on marijuana, and the physiological aspects of pregnancy -- from conception to crowning -- are front and center. (On the bright side, after watching all of that, it's a good bet that teens will be much less likely to risk having unprotected sex and may even appreciate what their mothers went through to give birth...)
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
Judd Apatow -- the mastermind behind 2005's summer smash The 40-Year-Old Virgin is back with KNOCKED UP, another raunchy-but-sweet story that's not for the easily offended. Seth Rogen plays Ben Stone, a 23-year-old living off his meager savings account who spends his days smoking weed with his layabout buddies. Their one ambition besides getting high is to start an online database that provides exhaustively researched time code stamps for actresses' movie nude scenes. One wild and crazy night, Ben gets very lucky at a club. Gorgeous Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is celebrating her recent promotion and, after many shots, is willing to do the deed with slouchy Ben. Two months later, Alison discovers that she's pregnant. Instead of opting out of the pregnancy -- as many might expect them to do -- Alison and Ben start dating while searching for an OB, dealing with morning sickness, and trying to ignore his friends' stupid comments (a la "I see the milk's come in").
Is It Any Good?
In lesser hands, Knocked Up could have devolved into a clichéd odd-couple farce. But with Apatow at the helm it becomes a genuine, realistic depiction of how two very different people learn to be a couple for the sake of their unborn child. Sure, there are hilariously graphic sex scenes ("The baby just kicked me, he's angry") and countless pot gags (you may get a contact high just watching those guys), but there's also an underlying message about truly facing adulthood.
As Alison's sister and brother-in-law, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd (also Apatow regulars, and, in Mann's case, his wife) are terrifically matched as a hip couple with kids who are facing their own Oprah-fied brand of marriage problems. Their domestic banter -- "Wanna have sex?"/"Ugggh. I'm awful. I'm constipated. You really want to?" -- is funny, as they say, because it's true. If the idea of ubiquitous foul language (particularly "f--k"), sex talk, and marijuana references -- not to mention a, let's say, documentary-style portrayal of childbirth -- isn't your cup of tea, Knocked Up may not be a wise choice. But if you can enjoy (or at least see past) the raunch, you'll be richly rewarded with a tender homage to growing up, falling in love, and becoming a parent -- just not necessarily in that order.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the consequences of having sex -- including pregnancy and parenthood.
How do movies and TV shows usually depict unplanned pregnancy? How is this movie different?
Does the fact that it's a comedy make the issues seem less serious?
Do you think Alison and Ben made the right decisions? Why or why not?
Families can also discuss the "return" of the R-rated comedy. Do the raunchy bits make movies like this funnier, or do they go overboard?
- In theaters: May 31, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: September 25, 2007
- Cast: Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen
- Director: Judd Apatow
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 129 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, drug use and language.
- Last updated: March 2, 2023
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