All comedies are not the same, are they? Lots of films make you laugh but they do so in different ways. Some use toilet humour and crude Farrelly brothers slapstick, while others employ more sophisticated observations and characterisations to provoke our chuckles. And others star Hugh Grant.
The good news about Knocked Up is that the humour comes from so many different angles you can quite happily go along with friends from either school of humour appreciation.
The basic ‘Boy meets girl, girl gets pregnant’ premise of the film, the mismatching of the two lead characters and the ensuing gags are largely as predictable as suggested by the proficiently edited trailer.
But a range of secondary characters with their own nuances, situations and jokes mean there is still something to laugh at long after the knob gags have worn thin.
While Ben and Allison pursue their elusive goal of happy togetherness, we observe the quirks and problems of the relationship between Allison’s sister Debbie and her brother-in-law Pete. The ideal of a happy stable married relationship is actually exposed as being just as difficult and unstable as the struggle of the two main characters to form a healthy environment for the birth of their forthcoming baby.
Okay, this is hardly a comedy masterpiece and probably shouldn’t be considered for any awards. But if you’re trying hard to gauge the suitability of a comedy for a mixed group of friends, you could do far worse that going to see Knocked Up. And there’s no sign of Hugh Grant.