Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Judd Apatow|
|Written by||Judd Apatow|
|Cinematography||Eric Alan Edwards|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$219.9 million|
Knocked Up is a 2007 American romantic comedy film written, directed, and co-produced by Judd Apatow, and starring Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann. It follows the repercussions of a drunken one-night stand between a slacker and a just-promoted media personality that results in an unintended pregnancy.
The film was released on June 1, 2007 to box office success, grossing $219 million worldwide, and acclaim from critics. A spin-off sequel, This Is 40 , was released in 2012.
Alison Scott is a career-minded woman, who has just been given an on-air role with E! and is living in the pool house with her sister Debbie's family. Ben Stone is laid-back and sardonic. He lives off funds received in compensation for an injury and sporadically works on a celebrity porn website with his roommates, in between smoking marijuana or going to theme parks such as Knott's Berry Farm. While celebrating her promotion, Alison meets Ben at a local nightclub. After a night of drinking, they end up having sex. Due to a misunderstanding, they don't use protection: Alison uses the phrase "Just do it already" to encourage Ben to put the condom on, but he misinterprets this to mean to dispense with using one. The following morning, they quickly learn over breakfast that they have little in common and go their separate ways, which leaves Ben visibly upset.
Eight weeks later, Alison experiences morning sickness during an interview with James Franco and realizes she could be pregnant. She contacts Ben for the first time since their one-night stand to tell him. Although insensitive at first, Ben says he will be there to support Alison. While he is still unsure about being a parent, his father is excited. Alison's mother tries to persuade her daughter to have an abortion, but Alison decides to keep the child. Later, Alison and Ben decide to give the relationship a chance. The couple's efforts include Ben making an awkward marriage proposal with an empty ring box, promising to get her one someday. Alison thinks it's too early to think about marriage, because she is more concerned with hiding the pregnancy from her bosses, believing that they will fire her if they ever found out. After a somewhat promising beginning, tensions surface in the relationship.
Alison is increasingly worried about Ben's lack of responsibility and commitment, and has doubts about the longevity of their relationship. These thoughts are due to her sister's unhappy marriage. Debbie's husband, Pete, works as a talent scout for rock bands, but he leaves at odd hours in the night, which makes her suspect he is having an affair. Upon investigating, she learns that he is actually part of a fantasy baseball draft, and that he has been doing other activities such as going to the movies on his own, which he explains he participates in to be free from Debbie's controlling manner. This results in their separation, and when Ben expresses amusement at Pete's deception, it leads to a heated argument with Alison as they drive to her doctor. Angered, she ejects him from her car and abandons him in the middle of a busy street. He tracks her down to her appointment and they both start another argument, leading to their own breakup. Ben and Pete decide to go on a road trip to Las Vegas.
Under the heavy influence of psychedelic mushrooms, they realize their loss and decide to take responsibility for their relationships. Simultaneously, Debbie drags a timid Alison out partying with her, but they are refused admission to a nightclub by its apologetic bouncer on account of Debbie's age and Alison's pregnancy, leading to Debbie's tearful laments about her life and her desire to have Pete back. They reconcile at their daughter's birthday party, but when Ben tries to work things out with Alison, she doesn't want to get back together. Alison's boss finds out about her pregnancy, and sees an opportunity to boost ratings with female viewers by having Alison interview pregnant celebrities. After a talk with his father, Ben decides to take responsibility and goes to great effort to change his ways, including moving out of his friends' house, getting an office job as a web designer, and creating a baby's room in his new apartment. He also starts reading the pregnancy books that he had purchased early on.
When Alison goes into labor and is unable to contact her doctor, she calls Ben, as Debbie and Pete are at Legoland. Ben discovers that the gynecologist they had been seeing is out of town, at a Bar Mitzvah, despite having assured them that he never took vacations. Ben calls him and leaves a furious voicemail, threatening murder. During labor, Alison apologizes for doubting Ben's commitment and admits that she never thought the man who got her pregnant would be the right one for her. When Debbie and Pete arrive at the hospital, Ben adamantly refuses to allow her to be at Alison's side, insisting that it's his place. Debbie is both furious and impressed that Ben took charge of the situation and begins to change her formerly negative opinion about him. The couple welcomes a baby girl (a boy in the alternate ending) and settle down happily together in a new apartment in Los Angeles.
Several of the major cast members return from previous Judd Apatow projects: Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, Jason Segel, and James Franco all starred in the short-lived, cult television series Freaks and Geeks which Apatow produced. From the Apatow-created Undeclared (which also featured Rogen, Segel and Starr) there are Jay Baruchel and Loudon Wainwright III. Paul Feig, who co-created Freaks and Geeks , starred in the Apatow-written movie Heavyweights and directed the Apatow-produced Bridesmaids also makes a brief cameo as the Fantasy Baseball Guy. Steve Carell, who makes a cameo appearance as himself, played the main role in Apatow's The 40-Year-Old Virgin which also starred Rogen and Rudd, as well as appearing in the Apatow-produced Anchorman . Finally, Leslie Mann, who also appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, is married to Apatow and their two daughters play her children in the movie.
Anne Hathaway was originally cast in the role of Alison in the film, but dropped out due to creative reasonsthat Apatow attributed to Hathaway's disagreement with plans to use real footage of a woman giving birth. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kate Bosworth auditioned for the part after Hathaway dropped out, but ended up losing out to Katherine Heigl.
The closing credits roll over cast members' baby photos. The image of Joanna Kerns as a young mother was previously famous from its use in opening credits of Growing Pains ’ first few seasons.
Bennett Miller, the director of Capote , appears in a mockumentary DVD feature called "Directing the Director", in which he is allegedly hired by the studio to supervise Apatow's work, but only interferes with it, eventually leading the two into a fist fight.
The film opened at #2 at the U.S. box office, grossing $30,690,990 in its opening weekend, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 's second weekend. The film grossed $148,768,917 domestically and $70,307,601 in foreign territories, totalling $219,076,518. The film also spent eight weeks in the box office top ten, the longest streak amongst May–June openers in 2007. A company that specializes in tracking responses to advertising spanning multiple types of media attributed the film's unexpected financial success to the use of radio and television ads in combination.
Knocked Up received critical acclaim upon its release. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90%, based on 251 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Knocked Up is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors of courtship and child-rearing, with a sometimes raunchy, yet savvy script that is ably acted and directed."On Metacritic, the film has a score of 85 out of 100, based on reviews from 38 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F.
The Los Angeles Times praised the film's humor despite its plot inconsistencies, noting that, "probably because the central story doesn't quite gel, it's the loony, incidental throwaway moments that really make an impression."Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun acknowledged the comic value of the film in spite of its shortcomings, saying, "Yes, the story line meanders and too many scenes drone on; Knocked Up is in serious need of a good editor. But the laughs are plentiful, and it's the rare movie these days where one doesn't feel guilty about finding the whole thing funny."
Variety magazine, while calling the film predictable, said that Knocked Up was "explosively funny."On the television show Ebert & Roeper , Richard Roeper and guest critic David Edelstein gave Knocked Up a "two big thumbs up" rating, with Roeper calling it "likeable and real," noting that although "at times things drag a little bit.... still Knocked Up earns its sentimental moments."
A more critical review in Time magazine noted that, although a typical Hollywood-style comedic farce, the unexpected short-term success of the film may be more attributable to a sociological phenomenon rather than the quality or uniqueness of the film per se, positing that the movie's shock value, sexual humor and historically taboo themes may have created a brief nationwide discussion in which movie-goers would see the film "so they can join the debate, if only to say it wasn't that good."
Canadian author Rebecca Eckler wrote in Maclean's magazine about the similarities between the movie and her book, Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be, which was released in the U.S. in March 2005. She pursued legal action against Apatow and Universal Pictures on the basis of copyright infringement.In a public statement, Apatow said, "Anyone who reads the book and sees the movie will instantly know that they are two very different stories about a common experience."
Another Canadian author, Patricia Pearson, also publicly claimed similarities between the film and her novel, Playing House. She declined to sue and declared Eckler's lawsuit to be frivolous.
Mike White (longtime associate of Judd Apatow and screenwriter for School of Rock , Freaks and Geeks , Orange County , and Nacho Libre ) is said to have been "disenchanted" by Apatow's later films, "objecting to the treatment of women and gay men in Apatow's recent movies", saying of Knocked Up, "At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied."
In early reviews, both Slate 's Dana Stevens and the Los Angeles Times ' Carina Chocano wrote articles claiming the film propagated sexist attitudes, a topic which was the primary focus of a Slate magazine podcast in which New York editor Emily Nussbaum said: "Alison [Heigl's character] made basically zero sense. She was just a completely inconsistent character.... she was this pleasant, blandly hot, peculiarly tolerant, yet oddly blank nice girl. She seemed to have no actual needs or desires of her own...." A. O. Scott of The New York Times explicitly compared Knocked Up to Juno , calling the latter a "feminist, girl-powered rejoinder and complement to Knocked Up."
In a later Vanity Fair interview, lead actress Katherine Heigl admitted that though she enjoyed working with Apatow and Rogen, she had a hard time enjoying the film itself, calling it "a little sexist" and claiming that the film "paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys."
In response, Apatow did not deny the validity of her accusations, saying, "I'm just shocked she [Heigl] used the word shrew. I mean, what is this, the 1600s?" [ citation needed ]Apatow has also claimed that the movie is supposed to be about how males are typically insensitive with females.
Heigl's comments spurred widespread reaction in the media, including a The Huffington Post article in which she was labeled "an assertive, impatient go-getter who quickly tired of waiting for her boyfriend to propose".Heigl clarified her initial comments to People magazine, stating that, "My motive was to encourage other women like myself to not take that element of the movie too seriously and to remember that it's a broad comedy," adding that, "Although I stand behind my opinion, I'm disheartened that it has become the focus of my experience with the movie."
Meghan O'Rourke of Slate called Heigl's comments unsurprising, noting "Knocked Up was, as David Denby put it in The New Yorker , the culminating artifact in what had become 'the dominant romantic-comedy trend of the past several years—the slovenly hipster and the female straight arrow.'" The Guardian noted that Heigl's comments "provoked quite a backlash, and Heigl was described as ungrateful and a traitor". In the wake of mounting accusations of sexism, director Judd Apatow discussed ways he might develop more authentic female characters.
In July 2009, while promoting their film Funny People Apatow and Rogen appeared on The Howard Stern Show and defended the work in Knocked Up, disagreeing with the position Heigl had stated. Rogen pointed to Heigl's work in the film The Ugly Truth to illustrate his point. Rogen said: "I hear there's a scene where she's wearing underwear with a vibrator in it, so I'd have to see if that is uplifting for women." Apatow remarked on Heigl's criticisms, stating that he had expected an apology from Heigl. "You would think at some point I'd get a call saying she was sorry, that she was tired, and then the call never comes."
In August 2016, Rogen again spoke to Howard Stern about how he had felt hurt and somewhat betrayed back then by Heigl's comments. He went on to talk about what a great rapport they'd had on set while working together, and that at the time he had even envisioned making many more movies with her. Though Rogen wishes she would have apologized to him personally as opposed to publicly, he affirmed that he still really liked her, and that he never would have wanted the incident to hurt her career.
Heigl responded by saying that Rogen had "handled that so beautifully," and that she felt nothing but "love and respect" for him. "It was so long ago at this point, I just wish him so much goodness, and I felt that from him, too," she said.
The film made the top-ten list of the jury for the 2007 AFI Awards as well as the top-ten lists of several well-known critics, with the AFI jury calling it the "funniest, freshest comedy of this generation" and a film that "stretches the boundaries of romantic comedies." John Newman, respected film critic for the Boston Bubble, called the film "a better, raunchy, modern version of Some Like it Hot."
Early on the film was deemed the best reviewed wide release of 2007 by the Rotten Tomatoes' website.
The film appeared on many critics' top-ten lists of the best films of 2007.
On December 16, 2007, the film was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best movies of the year. It was one of the two pregnancy comedies on the list ( Juno being the other). E! News praised the film's success, saying that, "The unplanned pregnancy comedy, shut out of the Golden Globes and passed over by the L.A. and New York critics, was one of 10 films selected Sunday for the American Film Institute's year-end honors."
Strange Weirdos: Music From and Inspired by the Film Knocked Up , an original soundtrack album, was composed for the film by folk singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Joe Henry. However, the movie's lead song "Daughter" was written by Peter Blegvad.
In addition to Wainwright's tracks, there were approximately 40 songs featured in the motion picture that were not included on the official soundtrack on Concord Records.
Some of the songs featured in Knocked Up are:
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Several separate Region 1 DVD versions were released on September 25, 2007. The theatrical R-rated version (128 minutes), an "Unrated and Unprotected" version (133 minutes) (separate fullscreen and widescreen editions available), a two-disc "Extended and Unrated" collector's edition, and an HD DVD "Unrated and Unprotected" version. On November 7, 2008, Knocked Up was released on Blu-ray following the discontinuation of HD DVD, along with other Apatow comedies The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Forgetting Sarah Marshall .
Variety reported in January 2011 that Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann would reprise their Knocked Up roles for a new film written and directed by Apatow, titled This Is 40 .Apatow had stated that it would not be a sequel or prequel to Knocked Up, but a spin-off, focusing on Pete and Debbie, the couple played by Rudd and Mann. The film was shot in the summer of 2011, and was released on December 21, 2012.
Paul Stephen Rudd is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He studied theater at the University of Kansas and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts before making his acting debut in 1992 with the NBC drama series Sisters.
Leslie Jean Mann is an American actress. She has appeared in numerous films including The Cable Guy (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), Big Daddy (1999), Timecode (2000), Perfume (2001), Stealing Harvard (2002), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), 17 Again (2009), Funny People (2009), I Love You Phillip Morris (2009), Rio (2011), The Change-Up (2011), This Is 40 (2012), The Bling Ring (2013), The Other Woman (2014), Vacation (2015), How to Be Single (2016), Blockers (2018), and Motherless Brooklyn (2019).
Seth Aaron Rogen is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director. He began his career performing stand-up comedy during his teenage years. While still living in his hometown Vancouver, he landed a supporting role in Judd Apatow's series Freaks and Geeks. Shortly after he moved to Los Angeles for his role, Freaks and Geeks was officially cancelled after one season due to low viewership. Rogen later got a part on sitcom Undeclared, which also hired him as a writer.
Judd Apatow is an American filmmaker, actor and comedian. He is the founder of Apatow Productions, through which he produced and developed the television series Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Funny or Die Presents, Girls, Love, and Crashing and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Funny People (2009), This Is 40 (2012), Trainwreck (2015), May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers (2017), and The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018).
Jonathan Adam Saunders Baruchel is a Canadian actor, director, stand-up comedian and screenwriter. He is known for his voice role as Hiccup in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and for his roles in comedy movies such as Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, Fanboys, She's Out of My League, Goon, This Is the End and the action-fantasy film The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He has had lead roles as Josh Greenberg in the FXX comedy television series Man Seeking Woman and Steven Karp in Judd Apatow's comedy series Undeclared.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 American sex comedy film directed by Judd Apatow in his directorial debut. The film stars Steve Carell as the titular 40-year-old virgin Andy, a clerk at an electronic goods store, whose colleagues resolve to help him lose his virginity. Catherine Keener and Paul Rudd also star. The screenplay features a great deal of improvised dialogue. The film was released theatrically in North America on August 19, 2005. It received positive reviews from critics and grossed $177 million worldwide.
Martin James Pflieger Schienle, professionally known as Martin Starr, is an American actor and comedian. He is known for the television roles of Bill Haverchuck on the short-lived comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), Roman DeBeers on the comedy series Party Down (2009–2010), Bertram Gilfoyle on the HBO series Silicon Valley (2014–2019), for his film roles in Knocked Up (2007) and Adventureland (2009), and as Roger Harrington in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films The Incredible Hulk (2008), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).
The "Frat Pack" is a nickname given to a group of comedy actors who have appeared together in many of the highest-grossing comedy movies since the mid-1990s. The group is usually considered to include Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and Vince Vaughn.
Jonah Hill Feldstein is an American actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Hill is known for his comedic roles in films including Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him to the Greek (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), This Is the End (2013), and 22 Jump Street (2014), as well as his dramatic performances in Moneyball (2011) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), for which he received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Superbad is a 2007 American coming-of-age teen comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and produced by Judd Apatow. The film stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as Seth and Evan, two teenagers about to graduate high school. Before graduating, the boys want to party and lose their virginity, but their plan proves harder than expected. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the script began development when they were 13 years old, and was loosely based on their experience in Grade 12 in Vancouver during the 1990s; the main characters have the same given names as the two writers. Rogen was also initially intended to play Seth, but due to age and physical size this was changed, and Hill went on to portray Seth, while Rogen portrayed the irresponsible Officer Michaels, opposite former Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader as Officer Slater.
Pineapple Express is a 2008 American buddy stoner action comedy film directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco. The plot centers on a process server and his marijuana dealer as they are forced to flee from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after witnessing them commit a murder. Producer Judd Apatow, who previously worked with Rogen and Goldberg on Knocked Up and Superbad, assisted in developing the story.
Funny People is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow. It stars Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jason Schwartzman, and Jonah Hill and follows a famous comedian who is diagnosed with a terminal disease and tries to fix the relationships in his life.
Katherine Marie Heigl is an American actress and former fashion model. She started her career as a child model with Wilhelmina Models before turning her attention to acting, making her film debut in That Night (1992) and later appearing in My Father the Hero (1994) as well as Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995). Heigl then landed the role of Isabel Evans on The WB television series Roswell (1999–2002), for which she received nominations for Saturn and Teen Choice Awards.
One for the Money is a 2012 American crime comedy film based on Janet Evanovich's 1994 novel of the same name. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, the screenplay was written by Liz Brixius, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. It stars Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Debbie Reynolds, Daniel Sunjata and Sherri Shepherd. The story revolves around Stephanie Plum, a broke and unemployed woman becoming a bail enforcement agent, going after a former high school crush who both skipped out on his payments and is a murder suspect.
Bridesmaids is a 2011 American comedy film directed by Paul Feig, written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, and produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend. The plot centers on Annie (Wiig), who suffers a series of misfortunes after being asked to serve as maid of honor for her best friend, Lillian, played by Maya Rudolph. Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey co-star as Lillian's bridesmaids, with Chris O'Dowd, Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas, Michael Hitchcock, Jon Hamm, and Jill Clayburgh, in her final film appearance, in supporting roles.
This Is 40 is a 2012 American comedy film written and directed by Judd Apatow and starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. A spin-off of Apatow's 2007 film Knocked Up, it is centered around married couple Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann), characters introduced in the previous film, whose stressful relationship is compounded by each turning 40. John Lithgow, Megan Fox, and Albert Brooks appear in supporting roles.
Maude Apatow is an American actress. The daughter of filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, she began her career playing the daughter of her mother's characters in her father's films Knocked Up (2007), Funny People (2009), and This Is 40 (2012).
Iris Apatow is an American actress known for her role as Arya in the Netflix series Love, as well as Charlotte in the movies Knocked Up and This Is 40.
Trainwreck is a 2015 American romantic comedy film directed by Judd Apatow and written by Amy Schumer. The film stars Schumer and Bill Hader along with an ensemble cast that includes Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, and LeBron James. The film is about a hard-drinking, promiscuous, free-spirited young magazine writer named Amy Townsend (Schumer) who has her first serious relationship with a prominent orthopedic surgeon named Aaron Conners (Hader).
Paul Rudd is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer whose career began in 1992 when he was cast in the role of Kirby Philby in the TV series Sisters until 1995. Also in 1995, he co-starred alongside Alicia Silverstone in the cult classic Clueless, one of his more notable early roles. The following year he played Dave Paris in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet with Claire Danes. In the 2000s, he co-starred in Wet Hot American Summer with Janeane Garofalo (2001), P.S. with Laura Linney (2004), and starred in Role Models with Seann William Scott (2008) and I Love You, Man with Jason Segel (2009). Rudd has appeared in numerous films directed and produced by Judd Apatow whom he frequently collaborates with including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), This Is 40 (2012), and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013).
Among last year's May and June openers, only "Knocked Up" lasted in the top 10 for eight weeks
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