ABC Film Challenge – Romance – K – Knocked Up (2007)

Director: Judd Apatow

Writer: Judd Apatow (Screenplay)

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill

 

Plot: For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she’s pregnant with his child.


Tagline – A one night stand that turned into something more.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hilarious

 

Story: Knocked Up starts as we meet Ben Stone (Rogen) a stoner who along with his friends are looking to create a ‘Flesh of the Stars’ website when he isn’t getting high. We also meet Alison Scott (Heigl) who has just been given a promotion to become an on-air talent for E entertainment.

When the two hook up on a drunken night having a wild night of sex they go their separate ways. When Alison learns she is pregnant the twos lives change, Alison needs to keep it secret from work and the two must get to know each other if they are to raise their child, even though they are very different.

 

Thoughts on Knocked Up

 

Characters – Ben Stone is a slacker, stoner that wants to get rich quick. He gets Alison pregnant and tries to do everything to support her, but he doesn’t find a way to get an income to support the baby. He tries to make light of the situation which is his way of dealing with everything. Alison Scott is about to become an on-air talent for an entertainment network her career is what has driven her for years, but when she becomes pregnant she needs to accept her new incoming baby and tries to have Ben on her side through everything. Pete and Debbie give the couple a view on what could become of married life with children.

PerformancesSeth Rogen broke into the leading man roles with his performance here, he is great through the film even if he style of comedy isn’t for everyone. Katherine Heigl is good in this role, her reaction to thing happening are believable and it is a shame that her career hasn’t gone onto bigger things. We get a lot of the regular cast members of the gangs which help the supporting characters have natural chemistry.

StoryThe story follows two different people from different worlds that end up getting pregnant together, we see how the difference must be put aside for the new life they are bringing into the world. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to see Ben grow up in more detail because it does seem like a major part of the film that only becomes a minor montage. Saying that we do get a good look at how the relationship between the two gets compared to the married couple which adds extra laughs and a mirror for the twos potential future. The story does feel like a real reaction to an unexpected pregnancy too which is important for this movie.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy might not be for everyone because a lot of it can be considered the stoner humour, but luckily Paul Rudd’s character offers something different. The romance in the movie shows how a relationship happens instead of being over the top gestures.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which shows the different people living there following their dreams and attempting dreams, but this could have been any city.


Scene of the Movie –
Growing up moment for Ben.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story takes way to long for Ben to grow up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great comedy that will get you laughing and give you moment of real behaviour from the characters, you should be enjoying this one throughout.

 

Overall: Hilarious comedy that will make you laugh.

Rating

 

 

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Like Father (2018)

Director: Lauren Miller

Writer: Lauren Rogen (Screenplay) Anders Bard, Lauren Rogen (Story)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Kelsey Grammer, Zach Appelman, Paul W Downs, Brittany Ross, Jen Zaborowski

 

Plot: A workaholic woman who is left at the altar takes her honeymoon trip anyway with her overachieving father who left her mother because he believed his family was holding back his career.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Comedy

 

Story: Like Father starts when workaholic Rachel (Bell) still attached to her phone is getting married, her problem is she won’t put her phone down, which leads to her fiancée leaving her at the altar. When her estranged workaholic father Harry (Grammer) turns up at the wedding and offers her a shoulder to cry on.

After a drinking bender together, Rachel and Harry end up going on the Honeymoon cruise together in a hope to help Rachel relax and forget about work for a couple of weeks and learn the lesson about needing to put work on the back burner.

 

Thoughts on Like Father

 

Characters – Rachel is a complete workaholic that has never been able to put her phone down including her wedding day which leads to her fiancée leaving her at the altar. Trying to return to work through the pain it quickly turns into a drinking bender with her father, the man she hates the most because he left her when she was young. She ends up going on her honeymoon with her father, but spends most of the time on the phone too, over the trip she must learn to put her phone away and see the bigger picture of life. Harry is Rachel’s father, he left her when she was a child, but has always watched over her, he sees she is making the same mistakes he did and wants to guide her in the right direction before it is too late for her. Jeff is a divorcee that is on the cruise with his sister to help him get over his divorce, she meets Rachel and the two spend time together as they both have suffered a surprise down in their lives. The rest of the characters we meet include the fellow couples, the twice married couple, the anniversary for the elder couple and the gay couple that complete the 4 couples together.

PerformancesKristen Bell takes the leading role in this movie, she a great to watch as she handles the comedy and the serious moments in the film very well as well has having the good timing chemistry with Grammer. Kelsey Grammer is known for the legendary television run and it has always been hard to see him as any other character, here he does a good job and keeps the calmness you can only imagine from his experience in the genre of comedy. Seth Rogen in the supporting role is good, he doesn’t bring his usual style of comedy letting the two leads take the full spotlight.

StoryThe story show us how a workaholic woman is left at the altar for her overcommitments with work only for estranged father to return to her life to try and build bridges and teach her about the mistakes she is making. The story focuses on needing to learn about taking time away from work to enjoy the little things in life, not making living in regrets that one has been living with since leaving his daughter. The story could go down as one that is generic for the themes circling around needing to put work on the back burner at times and a rebuilding of parental child relationship, it all comes off sweet and enjoyable balancing the comedy and serious moments through the film.

ComedyThe comedy is a mix of situational moments as Rachel and Harry find themselves in the positions in life they would never have achieved without meeting back up again, the support cast get good laughs too.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the cruise with the days off in the beauty spots along the way, it shows how spending time with family however distant can bring people together again.


Scene of the Movie –
Karaoke.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not dealing with the mother discussion.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charmingly sweet comedy, it does have an important message about work and family with a couple of great performances from Bell and Grammer.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy.

Rating

 

 

Elizabeth Banks Weekend – Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Katie Morgan, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Justin Long, Brandon Routh

 

Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.


Tagline – What would you do to get out of debt? 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raunchy Comedy Fun

 

Story: Zack and Miri Make a Porno starts as we meet two friends Miri (Banks) and Zack (Rogen) from high school struggling to make ends meet in their apartment. When twos debts continue to rise they turn to one idea, to make a porno.

Zack, Miri and their friend Delaney (Robinson) set out for audiences and move forward with this idea hiring Lester (Mewes), Stacey (Morgan), Barry (Mabe) and Bubbles (Lords) and set off to make their own Star Wars porn parody, until things take a turn and they must come up with a new plan, but it works out better for them.

 

Thoughts on Zack and Miri Makes a Porno

 

Characters – Zack is a coffee barista that lives with Miri, he isn’t the most ambitious just wants to have a good simple life, he suggests making a porn movie to raise the money for bills, but this plays into his deeper feelings for Miri. Miri lives with Zack, she did want more from her life, but for now she is happy enough, she doesn’t believe she could have feelings for Zack which soon start changing when the two will need to have sex.  Delaney is the co-worker of Zack’s married since high school who jumps at the chance to produce the porn movie. The rest of the characters we meet are the stars of the porn movie they are making, but we don’t learn too much from them.

PerformancesSeth Rogen had this role written for him, you can see that in his performance where he might be typical funny Rogen which is what we wanted from this movie. Elizabeth Banks is good here, she is always good at comedy, but this is her raunchy side we hadn’t seen before and she delivers. The supporting cast get their laughs when needed which shows how comic timing works at certain times.

StoryThe story follows two close friends that need to find a way to make ends meet which turns into a porno, like you do. It plays into the idea that men and women would struggle to remain friends after sex when it was one of the only options to make ends meet after growing debt. The story doesn’t hit the heights it could but for the most part if you are going into a Seth Rogen comedy you know it isn’t going to be the deepest off films.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does hit for the target audience it is on a raunchy level, which does take away from the romantic side of the film which doesn’t work to level it should for where the film aims to go.

SettingsThe settings show us how you could go around making your own home-made porn movie with a small group of friends. It shows you can make it in the right locations without having to pay extra.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack and Miri sex scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It goes too heavily into the raunchy side at times.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a raunchy comedy this will keep you happy, but if you don’t want to see a sex heavy comedy you will not enjoy and most likely being skipping this one.

 

Overall: Rogen Fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

The Disaster Artist (2017)

Director: James Franco

Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H Weber (Screenplay) Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell (Book)

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Lizzy Caplan, Zac Efron, Ari Graynor

 

Plot: When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Hilarious

 

Story: The Disaster Artist starts as we meet young aspiring actor Greg (Dave Franco) who meets the mysterious fellow actor Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in San Francisco, learning Tommy has money to support him Greg agrees to head to LA with him to try and make an impact in the acting world.

Finding themselves struggling to find a job they decide to make their own movie, ‘The Room’. They get their own crew with script advisor Sandy (Rogen) trying to keep things under control during the shot. As Greg starts his own relationship with Amber (Brie) he starts to become distant from Tommy who starts to become a dictator on set putting the production into turmoil as we learn how the most notoriously bad movie The Room is made.

 

Thoughts on The Disaster Artist

 

Characters – Greg is an aspiring actor who at a young age heads to Hollywood with a stranger Tommy Wiseau as he looks to make an impact in the industry. He is filled with the enthusiasm any young actor must make it in the business. Tommy Wiseau is the mysterious man that offers Greg a chance to move to Hollywood, he has an accent no one seems to be able to figure out, has money to support this dream, he ends up writing, directing and starring in the movie, that has bigger meaning to him that anyone could imagine. Sandy helps with the script and shoot, knowing just how strange the film seems and working with Tommy is strange experience for him. We do get to meet the rest of the people who are involved in movie and the lives of Greg and Tommy during this time.

PerformancesJames Franco is fantastic in this role, this is easily the best of his career to date and the chemistry he shows with his real-life brother Dave comes through on screen too. Dave Franco continues to improve, movie to movie and steps up to plate here. Seth Rogen is great in this role with his restrained role that never goes into full Rogen mode. The rest of the cast are great and we do get big names appearing in different moments of the film.

StoryThe story follows the making of the film branded the worst ever ‘The Room’ and how the unlikely friendship help build this movie to become the cult sensation people still talk about today. It does show chasing dreams can get what you want even if it isn’t the best quality, it shows that if you want to be able to say you did something, then this shows you how to achieve this.

Biopic/Comedy/HistoryThe biopic side of the film only covers the meeting of the two till the premier, which is good, but as the film implies Tommy is a man of mystery we would like to learn more about. The comedy hits every time in this film, we have laugh out loud moments that are genuine reaction to what is being shot and this history side of the film shows how one of the most famously worst movies was made.

SettingsThe settings fit the film perfectly showing us just where the film would have taken place and how weird set choice were too.


Scene of the Movie –
The Screening.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That I haven’t seen ‘The Room’, you don’t need to see it but now I want to.

Final ThoughtsThis could easily be one of the funniest films I have ever seen, while I have never seen The Room this movie opened my eyes to follow dreams however farfetched they seem and now I want to see it. This is one of the best movies of 2017 without a doubt.

 

Overall: Funniest film of the year.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Holiday Weekend – The Night Before (2015)

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writer: Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Jillian bell, Lizzy Caplan, Helene Yorke, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Christmas Movie

 

Story: The Night Before starts as we learn why Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents over Christmas in 2001, his two best friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) spend every Christmas Eve together and getting drunk, but as time went by his friends started to move on with Chris becoming a sports star and Isaac starting his own family. With Ethan, still almost stuck in his slump with his life working as a Christmas Elf.

This year has been mutually agreed to be the last one they spend together and Ethan has finally got the ticket to the biggest Christmas Party in town, the one they have always been looking to attended but before that, the traditions need to be celebrated for the last time. How will this night turn out for the friends on what is meant to be their final adventure?

 

Thoughts on The Night Before

 

Characters/PerformanceEthan is a man that lost his family at Christmas, he asks only one thing and that is to spend it with his two best friends, he hasn’t been able to find his path in life while his friends have found success but he knows this is his last Christmas Eve with friends. Isaac is about to become a father which leaves him knowing that he won’t be able to party as often as he can so he gets the chance to party on the last time but can’t handle the trip. Chris is suddenly becoming the big sports star he dreamed off but he finds himself in the middle of making new friends or keeping the ones he loves like brothers.

Performance wise, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a great job in the leading role playing a role he has made his own in comedy movies, Rogen is what you expect from him but his character is slightly questionable in places. Mackie shows that he can handle comedy on a regular level after Pain & Gain, he proves he can handle the supporting role.

StoryDeep down this story has a story of friendship and just how important it is over Christmas. We get to focus on moving forward in life remember never to forget the people who spent it with you, accepting responsibility for mistakes you have made and finding a way to be ready for parenthood. I think this does have plenty of Christmas message but sadly does get bogged down with the almost pointless drug based side story going on.

ComedyThe comedy does come thick and fast through the film even if certain parts of the film are based the drug usage going on through the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in New York city which shows the hustle and bustle of the town during the Christmas Eve events. It all works for everything going on through the story.

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy the deeper meaning behind this film as the part of the story Ethan goes through but I got slightly tired on the Rogen drug filled character.

 

Overall: This is a great Christmas film that is well worth a watch if you want something non-family based.

Rating