Posts Tagged ‘Knocked Up’

One Minute Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

July 15, 2008

Composer’s actress girlfriend leaves him for rock star, Russell Brand. Composer goes to Hawaii to get over it, despite knowing ex will be there. Ex is there. Russell Brand is a tame version of himself, talking like Davie Jones of the Monkees. He’s a rock star because that means he can do comedy songs to make screen time pass a bit more quickly. The songs are quite funny.

The receptionist at the hotel is attractive and is clearly the second love interest from the moment she appears onscreen – thus all will-she / won’t-she drama is squibbed. Nothing really happens for an hour. Then the end happens.

I know you shouldn’t go looking for enlightenment in a Judd Apatow film, but you’d have thought you might get a few belly-laughs.

That chubby stoner from Knocked Up is here as a stalker-like fan of Brand’s band, Infant Sorrow. He isn’t really given any material you’d call ‘comic’. The one black character – a big, fat barman – is meant to be an amusing character, I think, because all he does is list things. Which isn’t very funny. There’s a thread about a wimpy newlywed on honeymoon who’s scared of sex, but that one failed to raise a smile. The surfing stoner played by the husband in Knocked Up kept forgetting things. I think he was also meant to be funny. It’s quite tricky working out what you’re meant to be laughing at which, for a comedy, poses a problem.

Russell Brand does his usual schtick, but a diluted, American-family-friendly version of it, so all potential for cheekiness and irreverence is snuffed out. Brand with a script isn’t quite the same beast as the sex-freak with the haircut when he’s allowed to improvise. He’s a little bit wasted here, but you’d imagine it’d be a challenge to give him a role in anything, being as he’s developed his own persona. In a way, he’s stuck with himself, much like Frankie Howerd or Kenneth Williams were.

The only remarkable aspect of the whole film is the fact that you see the leading man’s penis on two occasions. The comedy reveal of his winky is another failed laugh-prod, ultimately feeling like a pretty desperate attempt to shove in something for bloggers to talk about – like the ‘crowning’ scene in Knocked Up – another example of a tacked on shocker.

All in all – not as annoying or rubbish as Knocked Up, and without the occasional quality gags.

Apatow’s surely had his time… while the likes of Stiller, Ferrell and Sandler have all long outstayed their welcome. Can Hollywood do us some decent comedy now, please?

Knocked Up

September 21, 2007

Knocked Up 

So much has been written about this marginally-above-average comedy that it feels slightly slack to even make any effort proffering an opinion, paradoxically enough.

Peter Bradshaw, who usually writes like a misery having double-dropped a curmudgeon-capsule gave it a four out of five. That seems excessive, as does his praising the subtlety on display in this really quite shallow film. Despite a superficial liberal dusting of equal rights recognition, this isn’t really a subtle piece.

Andrew Collins wrote a blog here praising the film while Joe Queenan wrote this article in the Guardian, the latter of which seems to border on the hysterically PC, if you ask me.

I don’t agree with any of them, to be honest. But as I can barely be arsed and because so much has already been said, here are some bullet-pointed opinions from the back of my brain. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers.

  • This is watchable in a Look Who’s Talking, Happy Gilmore kind of a way. By that I mean, worth watching once then forgetting.
  • There are plenty of half-decent jokes. I didn’t laugh out loud but I smiled at points.
  • A barrier to enjoyment was Seth Rogan’s character – Ben Stone, a 23 year old stoner.
  • Inexplicably he’s managed to live on 12 grand (in US Dollars) for 10 years. Is it just me, or do the maths not add up there? Six grand (in English quid) lasts 10 years? Even without rent to pay and eating a lot pasta, nobody can keep a serious skunk habit alive on that.
  • He’s 23 and hasn’t had a job, ever. Yet when the trite phase of Seth’s having to face his responsibilities comes around he lands a decent-looking job and gets an amazing flat, straight away.
  • He’s a twat. Yes, he may have got the girl into bed, but he would never, never have got her. Like, really got her.
  • The stoner sequences are typically American and cheesy. Why do Americans act like such dicks when they’re caned?
  • The mushroom sequence was pretty good.
  • All the ethnic minorities, jewish folk aside, were stereotypical. Giggly oriental girl – check. Over-authoritative oriental man – check. Sex obsessed black man – check.
  • It went on for way, way too long.
  • The ‘crowning’ special effect was sanitised. I’ve seen videos of real childbirth and it’s a lot more sticky, blue, red and mushy than that looked.

Rather than stump up for a cinema ticket, I’d spend your hard-earned on some of the weed Ben’s smoking. It must be dirt cheap for him to realistically afford it.