Monday, June 04, 2007
Leila, who liked Knocked Up even more than I did, found a great response to Dana Stevens' Slate article about the film, which has being bugging me all day. Being a Brian DePalma fan, I'm used to seeing directors with genuine affection for women being called out as clueless saps and/or misogynists even though they create female characters who are more than some political/romantic ideal or mere proof that the male lead is straight. Has Stevens not seen your average American comedy? If Judd Apatow doesn't "get women," what male comedic director in America does?! Also, why would anyone think Jonah Hill's character showed more "depth of humor and humanity" than Leslie Mann's? Because he made more putdowns? All the men are portrayed as selfish, immature snark machines or bitter adults who secretly pine for their slacker past. If someone's going to complain about the limits of one gender's presentation in a film, it might be a good idea to look at the flip.
I found the film slightly overlong, and I hope Apatow finds a theme other than the modern American man's painful transition into adulthood before he gets insufferably sentimental. But crap like the Slate article makes me want to pretend Judd Apatow isn't just a TV dude smart enough to bring warmth to crude observational improv without turning it into treacle. Because that gift is impressive enough.