Judd Apatow throws his hat back into the ring as writer/director of Knocked Up after the tremendous success of 40 Year Old Virgin. The story is a simple one, girl (Katherine Heigl) has an one night stand with a slacker guy (Seth Rogen)... girl gets pregnant. The rest of the film is the two leads trying to reverse date to see if they can find love together for the good of the baby.
What makes a plot lot like this stand out is the two standards of Apatow. 1. The actors have to be funny. Lots of the takes are improvised on the set and if they actors can handle that it translates into humor on the screen. 2. Push the boundaries of content, but don't do it at an expense to the characters. There is always an underlying heart in the people of Apatow's films. You want good things to happen to them.
There are two actors that get the biggest chance to stand out and it seems strange that they aren't even the two leads. Leslie Mann (Wife of Apatow in real life) gets a chance to shine as Heigl's control freak sister. Paul Rudd plays her husband who may or may not be sneaking out on her. Rudd hits some one liners out of the park and keeps the scenes interesting with the spontaneity that is missed when Rogen's friends aren't around.
Knocked Up is a gas... perhaps it doesn't need to be north of two hours, but that is a small quibble with an otherwise great movie. One problem I did have was the easy reconcilliation of two characters later on was a little too quick for my tastes.
Superbad star Jonah Hill also has an deleted scene on the dvd that is probably funnier than anything in the movie. Hill, and the rest of Rogen's friends, are trying to start a webpage that would tell you when and where actors/actresses are naked in films. Hill shares his thoughts on Brokeback Mountain to Heigl in graphic and hilarious detail.