Monday, December 03, 2007

Katherine Heigl Also Thinks "Knocked Up" Sucks

When I first saw Knocked Up and got really bullshit about it, I thought I'd be in the minority about it.  Turns out that doesn't seem to be the case; most conversations I have about the movie naturally turn towards the story being implausible and stupid.  At first, I suspected my objections were a result of my mood as much as anything; I'm relieved to know I'm not alone in wondering what the hell was going on here.

Now comes even more objections... except these objections come from someone who was actually in the movie.

"[Knocked Up was] a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I'm playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you're portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.

I do join the A.V. Club blogger in wondering exactly how little responsibility Katherine Heigl thinks she had for the "killjoy" portrayal.  And I'm definitely on board with Knocked Up, warts and all, being brave enough to not shy away from showing women acting like uncontrollable, wrongheaded nutbags.  God knows, it actually does happen every once in a while, so Judd Apatow gets props for that.

But the proof is in the pudding.  I walked away from that movie rolling my eyes at the thought of Seth Rogen ever putting up with that woman's shit.  The end result is a nutbag woman doing nutbag woman things... and a director communicating empathy for it.  Puhleeze.

Strictly from a storytelling perspective, he's been given no good reason to stick with her.  And it's not from her character being one-dimensional; it was actually a very deep portrait of a stressed-out woman making mistakes.  That she is as much as fault as anyone allows Rogen's character to approach the final conflict without having to correct a cliched "stupid man mistake" like most romantic leads have to do.  That in turn allows us in the audience to concentrate on what Rogen will do, instead of wondering how he will correct an obvious mistake.  It frees the character to choose a path without being hindered by group notions of "right" and "wrong"... it's strictly a personal decision.  That's actually a nice touch.

If only it didn't lead to such a damn fool ending.  After two hours of plausibility, it sucks to see five minutes of utterly laughable bullshit undermine everything that preceded it.  Goddammit.  And now I'm pissed off all over again.  Why did a smart movie have to be so stupid?  Grrrr.

Anyway, I fully intend to see Knocked Up again in colder blood.  The depth of my disappointment suggests that further viewings are necessary.  After all, it was indeed a laugh-out-loud hilarious movie, and I want so badly to love it.  So I'll give it another chance.  I'm not likely to budge on the bottom line, but we'll see.


  1. I saw a great reason for seth rogan to stay with her.

    She is about 8000000000000000000X better looking than he is.

    Was that so difficult?

  2. Ha. There's a conclusion that would have undone the entire movie even more than the existing one.

    Yeah, that level of pragmatism isn't what Mssrs. Apatow & Rogen were going after. If you're going to spend two hours examining the complexities of modern relationships, your ending isn't going to be "she's hot."

  3. I really thought they would work out in the end that they shouldn't be together, and that this was obviously where the plot was leading, due to the blatant portrayal of both of them being equally mind-numbingly irritating with no chemistry whatsoever.
    I found this movie had a real bad case of [overly contrived] bicker-flick, so I skipped several chapters to the end, only to be sorely disappointed to find that the writers couldn't even see just how bad their characters were and make them go their separate ways. :/ I want my 3 hrs back.

  4. let's be realistic here. rogen sure wasn't doing katherine freaking heigl any favors by staying with her. if his character had been a RICH slacker, i could see her digging him. otherwise, it's ridiculous. biology dictates that a woman who looks that good will pick somebody on her physical level or somebody wealthy.