2007_05_arts_knockedup.jpgKnocked Up
(directed by Judd Apatow)

Judd Apatow's movies are a bit schizophrenic; one minute they're making you laugh hysterically over a poop or pot joke, and the next your heart is melting from some adorable sentiment about relationships. An "eww" and then an "aww" reaction, then another "eww"? It can be awfully confusing for the average moviegoer. But, it's difficult to fault Apatow for making movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin or his newest, Knocked Up, which could seem all over the map, if they weren't so damn charming.

Knocked Up stars Seth Rogen (previously of Apatow's short-lived TV series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared) as the stoner lay-about Ben, who one night impregnates the adorable career woman Alison (Katherine Heigl) after picking her up in a night club. Despite the urging of her sister (played by Apatow's real life spouse, Leslie Mann) and her husband (the ever delightful Paul Rudd), Alison decides to keep the baby and embark on a real relationship with "the kind of guy she never goes for."

It's a real testament to a movie's ability to entertain that half way through you actually start thinking about seeing it a second time. The dialogue (particularly the banter between Ben's loser-ish housemates) and the situations (like Rogen and Rudd's brilliant visit to Cirque du Soleil tripping on mushrooms) have an amazingly loose, natural and improvisational feel, yet are instantly quotable. But as side-splitting as the one-liners are, the sentiments about growing up, committing, trying to communicate and appreciating the love of family are equally as genuine and heart-felt. Apatow may have only been trying to make a movie with lots of laughs, but in the process he's crafted a true classic.

Other new releases this week include Kevin Costner as a diabolical yuppie killer in Mr. Brooks, a documentary about a married couple who viciously fight and then fall head over heels, Crazy Love, the second installment in the Russian vampire trilogy Day Watch, and the soccer chick flick Gracie.