Knocked Up

It may turn out to be the best comedy of the summer.

A girl being "knocked up" in the past was as bad as a girl not having a cell phone today. The big A was not an acceptable remedy, and social rejection was pretty much routine.

The new film Knocked Up shows how far we have come. The tension surrounding a non-condom night of drinking is less a social disaster than a question of how the two principals can mature enough to deserve the gift. Director Judd Apatow carries his talent from 40 Year Old Virgin into this light and endearing comedy.

Both Seth Rogen (a buddy in Virgin) as Ben Stone and Katherine Heigl (The Ringer and Grey's Anatomy) as Alison Scot have perfect comic timing while the dialogue has an old screwball comedy pace, rapid and bright, affectionate and tough. Apatow nicely plays off the slacker Seth (Rogen may be better than Jon Heder's Napoleon) against Alison, a compulsive E! Entertainment reporter. When Stone first sees Alison naked, he blurts out, "You're prettier than I am," an obvious truth that brings sympathy for the underachieving, slightly pudgy protagonist. Jokes and insight are hard to put together?Apatow does it here.

Whether or not these two victims of the demon alcohol will find love is for you to find out. However, you can be sure along the way to laugh at such naughty riffs as Seth's worry during lovemaking about his penis hitting the baby or the scenes where he and his stoner buddies concoct a for-profit website to show the specific occurrences of stars' nudity in films. You may not laugh at the graphic birth scenes, but you will be drawn closer to the lovers because of them.

Although the film is long at 132 min., it may turn out to be the best comedy of the summer