Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oh, The Horror!

“I didn’t realize this was a horror film.” I was curled up against the back of the couch, barely able to look at the screen.

“Sorry, honey, it’s supposed to be a comedy,” my Supportive Boyfriend held my hand. “They said the hero is supposed to represent the Everyman. But I’m not like that!” He was as uncomfortable as I was but for slightly different reasons.

I was just plain grossed out.

On screen, a horror creature, the kind from my nightmares, was pawing at a beautiful blonde. What was worse, she was letting him. She didn’t sense the danger. What was worse yet was upon realizing she was pregnant with his spawn, not only did she not run away, she actually sought out a relationship with him.

Supportive and I sat on the couch, my stomach a queasy knot as we watched “Knocked Up.”

I have many issues with the film. Not the least of which was that it wasn’t funny except in the broadest of low-brow tones. My main point of concern came from the unrealistic motivation and actions of the girl. Hmmm, script written by a guy maybe?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a life-long nerd and a big fan of the anti-day job guys among us. But I am also a fan of people who have dreams they are pursuing. Lame couch potatoes should not be rewarded with the Hot Chick. Successful Hot Chicks are out of their league. I admit it: I am league-ist.

There is no way a girl that beautiful with that much of a stellar career on the rise would pursue love (!) with and have the offspring of a fat shlubby loser who treats her like crap and is mean to her. She’s out of his league and she knows it. We all know it. It seems only the filmmaker doesn't know it.

I’m not saying I’m advocating abortion here. Were I in the same situation I don’t know that I could have one. But I do believe abortion would have been something that the character would have strongly, realistically considered. The fact that she doesn’t and instead goes after the repulsive father of her child with such gusto is not only the most frighteningly conservative option, it’s just pure male fantasy. Fantasy which, I gather, is why the film is so popular with loser boys everywhere. It says if you somehow manage to impregnate a hot, successful chick, she’ll fall for you and you’ll become – rather painlessly – a better person. After all, what does Schlub really give up?

[Sidebar: what’s with all the “unluckily pregnant girl who keeps the baby and is happy” movies? "Juno," "Waitress," "Knocked Up" – Way to push boundaries! Welcome to 1955!]

Curled up on Supportive’s couch, I wondered why I was having such a visceral reaction to the film since there is little danger of the scenario happening to me. Supportive is the furthest thing from the losers in the film – hence his failure to identify with the protagonist. Then it dawned on me – there is someone in my life who I am currently watching be pawed by a fat loser.

Like Katherine Heigl’s character, this girl is beautiful to model standards, kind, funny, smart and on the upward rise. She’s involved with an Apatow-esque schlub. She is so far and away out of his league it bothers me on many levels. First because I feel she’s worth so much more. As a committed league-ist I feel she deserves, nay, is entitled to someone as hot as she is. If Schlub was an amazing man who loved her and was supportive of her, I wouldn’t mind so much. I may even be happy for her. The truth of it is he is not supportive but controlling. He’s not loving, but selfish and childish. And her getting knocked up and stuck with this guy is my worst nightmare on her behalf.

Unfortunately, as the film comes to a close, I realize that for my friend as for the character in this (or in any Woody Allen film), it’s up to the girl to realize they are worth more than a life of schlubness. Yes, one of the most attractive qualities is someone who doesn’t realize how good-looking they are. But for my money, one of the most admirable qualities is awareness of your league and valuing yourself enough to believe that you deserve to be in it.

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Blogger Mutant Poodle said...

I couldn't make it through Knocked Up - my willing suspension of disbelief doesn't allow me to accept any version of Katherine Heigl with such low self-esteem. Heigl herself thought the film sexist, which I could almost tolerate if it weren't so damned unwatchable.

Funny can overcome a lot of flaws. Painfully unfunny & sexist is like listening to a jackhammer with a hangover.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Kid Sis said...


5:36 PM  

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