Monday, June 25, 2007
Middle Age Crazy
Judd Apatow, the producer-writer-director- comedy guru, may not exactly be mining spanking new comedic territory in his two directorial efforts, the mega-hit The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and his newest box office winner, Knocked Up, although he is at least putting a legitimately funny spin on the nature and nurture of the American male, sui generis. Coming home from an event the other a day, in a van full of 30 and 40-something males I listened with piqued interest to a brief off-the-cuff discussion of the new movie: “Anybody see Knocked Up?” “Is that by the same people who made The 40-Year Old Virgin?” “I think so, but it’s even funnier.” “Without that goofy bastard, Carell?” “Yeah, it’s kinda serious, and kinda touching, but it’s got a ton of sophomoric shit, and I need that.” “Sounds perfect.” Apatow skims the surface of the contempo middle class white male’s trials, tribulations and transgressions without ever digging in deep enough to provoke, although his genuinely laugh-inducing dialogue, constant side dishes of pop culture references, decently sharp comic situations, and frequent stops at the outhouse door, make his movies purty pleasurable. Perhaps one day, he’ll have the urge to take it up a notch, and go beyond his farcical tweaking into unique cinematic territory, but for now we can watch his stuff and enjoy a well-earned batch of solid (not sublime) laffs.