Production assistant Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she is given the chance to present on an entertainment TV channel. One day her producer tells her that her body could do with being a little ‘tighter’. But no amount of gym time is going to burn off these pounds because she has a bun in the oven, the result of a celebratory night out with her older sister Debbie (Leslie Mann), at the end of which she ended up getting it on with slacker Ben Stone (Seth Rogen). Stone is as far removed from your typical American movie romantic character as is possible; he’s tubby, has no job and spends his days hanging out with his mates smoking illegal substances. He’s about as metrosexual as Fred Flintstone and in writer/actor Rogen’s hands comes on like the heir to the great John Belushi (check out the forthcoming Superbad for more proof).
Writer/director Judd Apatow’s remarkable new comedy is a superb mix of Animal House-style gross out humour and Love Story sentimentality. What makes Knocked Up stand out is not just the fact that the jokes are side-splittingly funny but that nearly everything that happens to the couple rings so true. Broader in scope and humour than Apatow’s last comedy The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up does still suffer from an over indulgence in exposition (on both the male and female sides) which results in an unwieldly running time, but, all things considered, this is still the best US comedy released so far this year. (Kaleem Aftab)
General release from Fri 24 Aug.