What parents need to know
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...)
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.
Families can talk 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?