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Friday, June 08, 2007

Knocked Up but pro nothing

Writer-director Judd Apatow's most recent film "Knocked Up" is the kind of messy and complex comedy befitting our post modernist, post Roe vs. Wade world. The film’s plot centers on Alison (played by Gray’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl) and Ben (Seth Rogen); two strangers, who after having a one night stand, get pregnant and decide to go ahead and have the baby. Together. But what makes the movie so interesting is that it purposely omits the decision making process surrounding Alison’s choice to keep the baby, (rather than abort or put the child up for adoption.) In my oh so humble opinion, Apatow’s exclusion of any pro life or pro choice dialogue isn't intended (and should not be interpreted) as “a right to life” stance. As Stephanie Zacharek wrote in Salon.com:
“The movie is simply delicate-handed enough to know that neither it nor the Supreme Court can dictate what a woman's choice should be. And it's intuitive enough to know that such a complicated choice can't be easily explained -- at least in terms that will satisfy anyone's politics.”
Well, we know what I (and Zacharek) think, but what do you think? Anyone out there disagree?


  • I've seen a version of this film in the UK, and there's a scene where Heigl's mother advises her not to keep it - is that scene not in the US version?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 12, 09:57:00 AM PDT  

  • While that scene with the mother telling her to not keep it is in the US version, I was really disheartened by their very delliberate choice to not say the word "abortion," instead using the cutsey euphamisms of "shmamortion" and "the a-word". What a cop out.

    I like, and have always liked, Apatow's writing because there is a tremendous amount of empathy and compassion for his characters, and while I agree with you about the movie coming down on neither side essentially, I was REALLY disappointed by their treatment of abortion, making it in to literally a dirty word. Bummer. Big time.

    By Blogger lilah, at Tue Jun 12, 11:17:00 AM PDT  

  • there's a great article on this in the NY Times called 'On Abortion, Hollywood Is No-Choice'

    I also saw this movie being reviewed on Ebert and Roeper and the guest host, David Edelstein of NY Magazine called it a "post Roe movie", and lamented the fact that abortion was never looked at as an option in the film.

    At the very least, people are noticing these things.

    By Blogger Anna Rose, at Tue Jun 12, 12:37:00 PM PDT  

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