A sleeper smash Stateside and presented as such over here, Knocked Up got a few grumbles from UK journos either hacked off with being pre-sold the story of “the little movie that could” or, like Libby Brooks in The Guardian, appalled by “the longest pro-life propaganda movie ever to make it into the mainstream.” The former point’s pointless (don’t judge the marketing; judge the movie), the latter absurd: as if the film should apologise for recognising that some mothers decide to keep their babies. It’s a screwball rom-com about dumb relationships and the pain and joy of pregnancy and parenthood; not Vera Drake II: Mission Aborted.
The film is just as ragged and wonderful as it was in theatres, though cut a little more slack in this extended version (more gags and character beats). What’s essential to its success is a sense of truth. While American Pie-alikes concoct ever more outrageous scenarios for yanking laughs, Apatow takes life and leaves the filter off. Think Rogen’s a foul-mouthed arsehole and Katherine Heigl’s a high-maintenance hormone bomb? Well, look in the mirror, or at who you’re in love with; they’re right there. Nothing about Knocked Up feels faked. Right down to the finale’s ‘crowning’ glory.