Knocked Up is a 2007 American romantic comedy film written, directed,
and co-produced by Judd Apatow, and starring Seth Rogen, Katherine
Heigl, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann. It follows the repercussions of a
drunken one-night stand between a slacker and a just-promoted media
personality that results in an unintended pregnancy.
The film was released on June 1, 2007 to box office success, grossing
$219 million worldwide, and acclaim from critics. A spin-off sequel,
This Is 40, was released in 2012.
2.1 Themselves (uncredited)
4.1 Box office performance
4.2 Critical response
4.3 Alleged copyright infringement
4.4 Accusations of sexism
4.5 Top ten lists
6 Home release
9 External links
Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is a career-minded woman who has just
been given an on-air role with E! and is living in the pool house with
her sister Debbie's (Leslie Mann) family. Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is
laid-back and sardonic. He lives off funds received in compensation
for an injury and sporadically works on a celebrity porn website with
his roommates (Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill,
Jason Segel and Martin
Starr), in between smoking marijuana or going off with them at theme
parks such as Knott's Berry Farm. While celebrating her promotion,
Alison meets Ben at a local nightclub. After a night of drinking, they
end up having sex. Due to a misunderstanding, they don't use
protection: Alison uses the phrase "Just do it already" to encourage
Ben to put the condom on, but he misinterprets this to mean to
dispense with using one. The following morning, they quickly learn
over breakfast that they have little in common and go their separate
ways, which leaves Ben visibly upset.
Eight weeks later, Alison experiences morning sickness during an
James Franco and realizes she could be pregnant. She
contacts Ben for the first time since their one-night stand to tell
him. Although insensitive at first, Ben says he will be there to
support Alison. While he is still unsure about being a parent, his
father (Harold Ramis) is excited. Alison's mother (Joanna Kerns) tries
to persuade her daughter to have an abortion, but Alison decides to
keep the child. Later, Alison and Ben decide to give their
relationship a chance. The couple's efforts include Ben making an
awkward marriage proposal with an empty ring box, promising to get her
one someday. Alison thinks it's too early to think about marriage,
because she is more concerned with hiding the pregnancy from her
bosses, believing that they will fire her if they ever found out.
After a somewhat promising beginning, tensions surface in the
Alison is increasingly worried about Ben's lack of responsibility and
commitment, and has doubts about the longevity of their relationship.
These thoughts are due to her sister's unhappy marriage. Debbie's
husband, Pete (Paul Rudd), works as a talent scout for rock bands, but
he leaves at odd hours in the night, which makes her suspect he is
having an affair. Upon investigating, she learns that he is actually
part of a fantasy baseball draft, which he explains he participates in
to be free from Debbie's controlling manner. This results in their
separation, and when Ben expresses amusement at Pete's deception, it
leads to a heated argument with Alison as they drive to her doctor.
Angered, she ejects him from her car and abandons him in the middle of
a busy street. He tracks her down to her appointment and they both
start another argument, leading to their own breakup. Ben and Pete
decide to go on a road trip to Las Vegas.
Under the heavy influence of psychedelic mushrooms, they realize their
loss and decide to take responsibility for their relationships.
Simultaneously, Debbie drags a timid Alison out partying with her, but
they are refused admission to a nightclub by its apologetic bouncer
(Craig Robinson) on account of Debbie's age and Alison's pregnancy,
leading to Debbie's tearful laments about her life and her desire to
have Pete back. They reconcile at their daughter's birthday party, but
when Ben tries to work things out with Alison, she doesn't want to get
back together. Alison's boss finds out about her pregnancy, and sees
an opportunity to boost ratings with female viewers by having Alison
interview pregnant celebrities. After a talk with his father, Ben
decides to take responsibility and goes to great effort to change his
ways, including moving out of his friends' house, getting an office
job as a web designer, and creating a baby's room in his new
He also starts reading the pregnancy books that he had purchased early
on. When Alison goes into labor and is unable to contact her doctor,
she calls Ben, as Debbie and Pete are at Legoland. Ben discovers that
the gynecologist they had been seeing (Loudon Wainwright) is out of
town, at a Bar Mitzvah, despite having assured them that he never took
vacations. Ben calls him and leaves a furious voicemail, threatening
murder. During labor, Alison apologizes for doubting Ben's commitment
and admits that she never thought the man who got her pregnant would
be the right one for her. When Debbie and Pete arrive at the hospital,
Ben adamantly refuses to allow her to be at Alison's side, insisting
that it's his place. Debbie is both furious and impressed that Ben
took charge of the situation and begins to change her formerly
negative opinion about him. The couple welcomes a baby girl (a boy in
the alternate ending) and settle down happily together in a new
apartment in Los Angeles.
Seth Rogen as Ben Stone
Katherine Heigl as Alison Scott
Paul Rudd as Pete
Leslie Mann as Debbie
Jason Segel as Jason
Jay Baruchel as Jay
Jonah Hill as Jonah
Martin Starr as Martin
Charlyne Yi as Jodi
Iris Apatow as Charlotte
Maude Apatow as Sadie
Harold Ramis as Harris Stone
Joanna Kerns as Mrs. Scott
Alan Tudyk as Jack
Kristen Wiig as Jill
Bill Hader as Brent
Ken Jeong as Dr. Kuni
J. P. Manoux
J. P. Manoux as Dr. Angelo
Tim Bagley as Dr. Pellagrino
B. J. Novak
B. J. Novak as Doctor
Mo Collins as Doctor
Loudon Wainwright as Dr. Howard
Adam Scott as Nurse
Craig Robinson as Club Doorman
Tami Sagher as Wardrobe Lady
Stormy Daniels as Lap Dancer
Several of the major cast members return from previous Judd Apatow
projects: Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, Jason Segel, and
James Franco all
starred in the short-lived, cult television series Freaks and Geeks
which Apatow produced. From the Apatow-created
Undeclared (which also
featured Rogen, Segel and Starr) there are
Jay Baruchel and Loudon
Wainwright III. Paul Feig, who co-created Freaks and Geeks, starred in
the Apatow-written movie
Heavyweights and directed the Apatow-produced
Bridesmaids also makes a brief cameo as the Fantasy Baseball Guy.
Steve Carell, who makes a cameo appearance as himself, played the main
role in Apatow's
The 40-Year-Old Virgin which also starred Rogen and
Rudd, as well as appearing in the Apatow-produced Anchorman. Finally,
Leslie Mann, who also appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, is married
to Apatow and their two daughters play her children in the movie.
Anne Hathaway was originally cast in the role of Alison in the film,
but dropped out due to creative reasons that Apatow attributed to
Hathaway's disagreement with plans to use real footage of a woman
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt and
Kate Bosworth auditioned for
the part after Hathaway dropped out, but ended up losing out to
The closing credits roll over cast members' baby photos. The image of
Joanna Kerns as a young mother was previously famous from its use in
opening credits of Growing Pains’ first few seasons.
Bennett Miller, the director of Capote, appears in a mockumentary DVD
feature called "Directing the Director", in which he is allegedly
hired by the studio to supervise Apatow's work, but only interferes
with it, eventually leading the two into a fist fight.
Box office performance
The film opened at #2 at the U.S. box office, grossing $30,690,990 in
its opening weekend, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's
second weekend. The film grossed $148,768,917 domestically and
$70,307,601 in foreign territories, totalling $219,076,518. The film
also spent eight weeks in the box office top ten, the longest streak
amongst May–June openers in 2007. A company that specializes in
tracking responses to advertising spanning multiple types of media
attributed the film's unexpected financial success to the use of radio
and television ads in combination.
Knocked Up received critical acclaim upon its release. On Rotten
Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 90%, based on 237 reviews, with
an average rating of 7.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads,
Knocked Up is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors
of courtship and child-rearing, with a sometimes raunchy, yet savvy
script that is ably acted and directed." On Metacritic, the film
has a score of 85 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating
Los Angeles Times praised the film's humor despite its plot
inconsistencies, noting that, "probably because the central story
doesn't quite gel, it's the loony, incidental throwaway moments that
really make an impression." Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun
acknowledged the comic value of the film in spite of its shortcomings,
saying, "Yes, the story line meanders and too many scenes drone on;
Knocked Up is in serious need of a good editor. But the laughs are
plentiful, and it's the rare movie these days where one doesn't feel
guilty about finding the whole thing funny."
In another such review, Variety magazine, while calling the film
predictable, said that
Knocked Up was "explosively funny." On the
television show Ebert & Roeper,
Richard Roeper and guest critic
David Edelstein gave
Knocked Up a "two big thumbs up" rating, with
Roeper calling it "likeable and real," noting that although "at times
things drag a little bit.... still
Knocked Up earns its sentimental
A more critical review in Time magazine noted that, although a typical
Hollywood-style comedic farce, the unexpected short-term success of
the film may be more attributable to a sociological phenomenon rather
than the quality or uniqueness of the film per se, positing that the
movie's shock value, sexual humor and historically taboo themes may
have created a brief nationwide discussion in which movie-goers would
see the film "so they can join the debate, if only to say it wasn't
Alleged copyright infringement
Rebecca Eckler wrote in
Maclean's magazine about the
similarities between the movie and her book, Knocked Up: Confessions
of a Hip Mother-to-Be, which was released in the U.S. in March 2005.
She pursued legal action against Apatow and Universal Pictures on the
basis of copyright infringement. In a public statement, Apatow
said, "Anyone who reads the book and sees the movie will instantly
know that they are two very different stories about a common
Another Canadian author, Patricia Pearson, also publicly claimed
similarities between the film and her novel, Playing House. She
declined to sue and declared Eckler's lawsuit to be frivolous.
Accusations of sexism
Mike White (longtime associate of
Judd Apatow and screenwriter for
School of Rock, Freaks and Geeks, Orange County, and Nacho Libre) is
said to have been "disenchanted" by Apatow's later films, "objecting
to the treatment of women and gay men in Apatow's recent movies",
saying of Knocked Up, "At some point it starts feeling like comedy of
the bullies, rather than the bullied."
In early reviews, both Slate's Dana Stevens and the
Los Angeles Times'
Carina Chocano wrote articles claiming the film propagated sexist
attitudes, a topic which was the primary focus of a Slate magazine
podcast in which New York editor
Emily Nussbaum said: "Alison [Heigl's
character] made basically zero sense. She was just a completely
inconsistent character.... she was this pleasant, blandly hot,
peculiarly tolerant, yet oddly blank nice girl. She seemed to have no
actual needs or desires of her own...."
A. O. Scott
A. O. Scott of The New
York Times explicitly compared
Knocked Up to Juno, calling the latter
a "feminist, girl-powered rejoinder and complement to Knocked Up."
In a later Vanity Fair interview, lead actress Katherine Heigl
admitted that though she enjoyed working with Apatow and Rogen, she
had a hard time enjoying the film itself, calling it "a little sexist"
and claiming that the film "paints the women as shrews, as humorless
and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving
In response, Apatow did not deny the validity of her accusations,
saying, "I'm just shocked she [Heigl] used the word shrew. I mean,
what is this, the 1600s?" Apatow has also claimed that the movie
is supposed to be about how males are typically insensitive with
Heigl's comments spurred widespread reaction in the media, including a
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post article in which she was labeled "an assertive,
impatient go-getter who quickly tired of waiting for her boyfriend to
propose". Heigl clarified her initial comments to People
magazine, stating that, "My motive was to encourage other women like
myself to not take that element of the movie too seriously and to
remember that it's a broad comedy," adding that, "Although I stand
behind my opinion, I'm disheartened that it has become the focus of my
experience with the movie."
Meghan O'Rourke of Slate called Heigl's comments unsurprising, noting
Knocked Up was, as David Denby put it in The New Yorker, the
culminating artifact in what had become 'the dominant romantic-comedy
trend of the past several years—the slovenly hipster and the female
The Guardian noted that Heigl's comments
"provoked quite a backlash, and Heigl was described as ungrateful and
a traitor". In the wake of mounting accusations of sexism,
Judd Apatow discussed ways he might develop more authentic
In July 2009, while promoting their film
Funny People Apatow and Rogen
The Howard Stern Show
The Howard Stern Show and defended the work in Knocked Up,
disagreeing with the position Heigl had stated. Rogen pointed to
Heigl's work in the film The Ugly Truth to illustrate his point. Rogen
said: "I hear there's a scene where she's wearing underwear with a
vibrator in it, so I'd have to see if that is uplifting for women."
Apatow attempted to discredit Heigl's criticisms, chalking up her
harsh words to exhaustion at the end of a long day of interviews and
stating that he had expected an apology from Heigl. "You would think
at some point I'd get a call saying she was sorry, that she was tired,
and then the call never comes."
In August 2016, Rogen again spoke to
Howard Stern about how he had
felt hurt and somewhat betrayed back then by Heigl's comments. He went
on to talk about what a great rapport they'd had on set while working
together, and that at the time he had even envisioned making many more
movies with her. Though Rogen wishes she would have apologized to him
personally as opposed to publicly, he affirmed that he still really
liked her, and that he never would have wanted the incident to hurt
Heigl responded by saying that Rogen had "handled that so
beautifully," and that she felt nothing but "love and respect" for
him. "It was so long ago at this point, I just wish him so much
goodness, and I felt that from him, too," she said.
Top ten lists
The film made the top-ten list of the jury for the 2007 AFI Awards as
well as the top-ten lists of several well-known critics, with the AFI
jury calling it the "funniest, freshest comedy of this generation" and
a film that "stretches the boundaries of romantic comedies." John
Newman, respected film critic for the Boston Bubble, called the film
"a better, raunchy, modern version of Some Like it Hot."
Early on the film was deemed the best reviewed wide release of 2007 by
the Rotten Tomatoes' website.
The film appeared on many critics' top-ten lists of the best films of
3rd – Kyle Smith, New York Post
4th – Christy Lemire, Associated Press
5th – Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club
6th – David Ansen, Newsweek
8th – Ella Taylor, LA Weekly
9th – Empire
9th – Scott Foundas,
LA Weekly (tied with Superbad)
10th – A. O. Scott,
The New York Times
The New York Times (tied with Juno and Superbad)
10th – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
10th – Peter Travers,
Rolling Stone (tied with Juno)
On December 16, 2007, the film was chosen by the American Film
Institute as one of the ten best movies of the year. It was one of the
two pregnancy comedies on the list (Juno being the other). E! News
praised the film's success, saying that, "The unplanned pregnancy
comedy, shut out of the Golden Globes and passed over by the L.A. and
New York critics, was one of 10 films selected Sunday for the American
Film Institute's year-end honors."
Teen Choice Awards
Teen Choice Awards awarded the film "Choice : Comedy".
They also gave
Ryan Seacrest "Best Hissy Fit", for his brief cameo,
where he becomes self-obsessed and complains about rising young
talents, saying that they "fuck his day up".
Judd Apatow was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for
Best Original Screenplay.
In 2008, the film was nominated for a
Canadian Comedy Award for Best
Actor, for Seth Rogen. Coincidentally Rogen lost to
Michael Cera for
his role in Superbad, which Rogen had written.
High Times Magazine awarded the film a Stony Award for Best Pot Comedy
Strange Weirdos: Music From and Inspired by the Film Knocked Up, an
original soundtrack album, was composed for the film by folk
Loudon Wainwright III
Loudon Wainwright III and Joe Henry. However, the
movie's lead song "Daughter" was written by Peter Blegvad.
In addition to Wainwright's tracks, there were approximately 40 songs
featured in the motion picture that were not included on the official
soundtrack on Concord Records.
Some of the songs featured in
Knocked Up are:
"We Are Nowhere and It's Now" – Bright Eyes (feat. Emmylou
"All Night" by Damian Marley
"Stand up tall" by Dizzee Rascal
"Rock Lobster" by The B-52's
"Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects
"Police On My Back" by The Clash
"Biggest Part of Me" by Ambrosia
"Smile" by Lily Allen
"Girl" by Beck
"King without a Crown" by Matisyahu
"Toxic" by Britney Spears
"Santeria" by Sublime
"Tropicana" by Ratatat
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by Ol' Dirty Bastard
"Love Plus One" by Haircut One Hundred
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions
"Reminiscing" by Little River Band
"Ashamed" by Tommy Lee
"Swing" by Savage (featured in the menu section of the DVD)
"Shame on a Nigga" by
Wu-Tang Clan (used in the film's trailer)
"Grey in LA" by Loudon Wainwright III
"End of the Line" by
Traveling Wilburys (used in the film's trailer)
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Several separate Region 1 DVD versions were released on September 25,
2007. There was the theatrical R-rated version (128 minutes), an
"Unrated and Unprotected" version (133 minutes) (fullscreen and
widescreen available independently), a two-disc "Extended and Unrated"
collector's edition, and an
HD DVD "Unrated and Unprotected" version.
On November 7, 2008,
Knocked Up was released on Blu-ray following the
discontinuation of HD DVD, along with other Apatow comedies The
40-Year-Old Virgin and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Variety reported in January 2011 that
Paul Rudd and
Leslie Mann would
Knocked Up roles for a new film written and directed by
Apatow, titled This Is 40. Apatow had stated that it would not be
not a sequel or prequel to Knocked Up, but a spin-off, focusing on
Pete and Debbie, the couple played by Rudd and Mann. The film was
shot in the summer of 2011, and was released on December 21,
Knocked Up (15)". British Board of Film Classification. March 19,
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