You know, I liked The 40-Year-Old Virgin well enough. It was a terrific movie in that it was all-at-once heartwarming, hilarious, raunchy, tasteless and beautiful. It's this sort of raw all-over-the-place quality that I think made the film.
The writer/director of the movie, Judd Apatow, has done projects before, like the acclaimed-but-ultimately-unwatched Freaks and Geeks (I didn't even watch it myself), and he's produced a whole host of Will Farrell movies. But after watching something like Talladega Nights, you have to wonder how the same guy has his fingerprint on both it and a movie like Knocked Up.
The reasons you'll appreciate this movie are hard to enumerate. It's almost like explaining to someone why they should enjoy life. In fact, a lot of the dialogue in the movie essentially boils down to people complaining about stuff or ripping on someone else. But it's so natural you would think that Apatow was following around the cast for years, and just chopping together their best bits. You know the cast is friends outside the film, because they've all worked together. But you can also see it in the way that they mess with one another, and how well the give-and-take works.
When many movies seem to resort to music montages to show a relationship build between two people, Apatow goes a step further and illustrates the levity between his characters changing, and becoming more comfortable and friendly. He rewards the audience with scenes like this, because the conversation in the movie is so hilarious. It's like you're right there shooting the shit with them. It's feels candid.
That's about as well as I can explain it. Knocked Up is, I believe, one of our generation's movies. As a twenty-something dealing with the prospect of... "growing up" (shudder), I can't help but be anxious. I love my shit. I love buying new toys. I love driving a completely irresponsible, selfish, fast car. I love going out with friends and getting hammered. I also love Sara, and would do anything for her, which seems to mean I would have to give up all the aforementioned, and the movie so well illustrates this dichotomy.
And it's not just for the 20-something male in arrested development. The movie takes great care in understanding the frustrations and anxieties of being a woman who is facing getting older, more wrinkly, fatter, losing career time, and so on. It's not just a coming-of-age movie, but more about dealing with coming to age.
I was thinking last night a little bit about the movie, and I guess the thing I really loved most about it was how much I ended up caring about the characters and their outcome. I loved all the characters, and felt for them. I think that's something that a lot of writers don't do very well anymore. It's so easy to create characatures or vessels for pee and fart jokes. But it takes real talent to make funny people who mean something to you.
So, anyway, go see the movie. If you're not a completely baseless halfwit, you should walk away from it with a smile and a brighter perspective of the future.