Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Knocked Up

I repost this from my livejournal. I wrote it after I'd seen the movie in the theaters. Well, I saw it on the shelves tonight as it has come out on DVD, recalled this post, and in lieu of being way too tired to post something else...I give you, my review of Knocked Up. Which I may or may not revisit when I do see the movie again. Enjoy!

There has been a lot of talk about this movie in the feminist blogosphere so I was very interested to see what it was they were all talking about. I have to say it quite lived up to the hype, and as usual I agreed with some analysis of it, but also disagreed with the importance of some of the other issues.

Overall, it was a really good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I look forward to seeing it again when it comes out on DVD. I actually think I might buy it, about half way through I found myself thinking that it could possibly be one of my favorite movies. The whole premise was not exactly new, but the way Apatow approached it was more real life than I think I have seen before. In fact I don't think I've seen a movie that rang so very true in a really really long time, if ever. Maybe "Chasing Amy." Anyway.

The fights between the couples were painful to watch, that's how true to life they were. The sister character has also taken a lot of flack for being such a shrew, but to be honest I found myself looking at her and thinking she wasn't over done at all. I've known plenty of women just like that, some people are bloody neurotic. When her and her husband fought I easily saw where they both were coming from. It was all too like fights I've had with Travis at one time or another. Although thank gods we don't fight even half as much as that fucking couple does.

Something that was brought up that I totally disagreed with was Seth Rogen's weight in the movie. "Just another "King of Queens" situation with a fat guy getting a hot chick." I totally disagree with that whole argument in this case. In some situations, yes, it gets frustrating seeing that even when the guy is over weight it's not ok for the woman to be. It's definitely a whole patriarchal thing that I'm not down with. But for this movie to work he had to be a "regular," stoner guy, and I thought he was. Calling him "fat" was I thought way over the top. He has a little extra weight on him, true, but it seemed to me describing him as "fat" did more to reinforce the Hollywood stereotype than him managing to pull a good looking woman when she was drunk.

Two criticisms I did find myself agreeing with were; 1. not one person said the word "abortion" in the whole movie, and 2. the vulva shot for the baby crowning scene was hairless. On issue one, abortion WAS talked about, but for some reason no one could say the word. The idea that guys sitting around with their other guy friends would have to say "it rhymes with shamortion" I found absurd. That the mother would only say "get it taken care of" I found far more believable and real. Even then I wish Apatow would have taken a stand more, but I think he was trying to reflect real life more than influence it and in that case I think he was pretty accurate. It's more a reflection on our society that it's still looked down upon to have an abortion than anything else. Additionally it would have been hard for him to take a big stand on that issue with this movie remaining a comedy I think.

On the shaved vulva issue. That scene is ACTUALLY a baby crowning. Some woman gave them permission to shoot her giving birth. Before I can really have an opinion on her hairlessness I wish I knew whether that was Apatow's choice or whether the woman did it, or whether it was done at the hospital. In discussion at Feministing some people mentioned that at some hospitals they do in fact shave you (as they do for surgery) to make things easier. I have never had a baby so I don't know the truth in that, in theory it might make sense. But, I do know from the pictures my mother unfortunately showed me, she was definitely not shaved when she had me. IF the shaving was a creative choice on Apatow's part, I dislike it. Why does the woman have to be infantilized? Why is womanly hair against the Hollywood ascetic even in a scene such as that? Especially considering how realistic he was elsewhere in the movie! However, I have no way to know whether that was his choice or not, so I choose not to get too worked up about it.

Overall, very well done. And I think I have a little bit of a crush on Seth Rogen now.

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