Where Have All the Shallow Men Gone?

Hey, we got “Knocked Up” last night! Wes and I were both very excited to see it and were not disappointed. It was a funny movie that was well-made. I was particularly eager to see it because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve read so many reviews about it. I am one of the rare people who enjoy reading reviews about movies before I see them because I like knowing where to pay good attention.

In the case of “Knocked Up”, there’s a scene where the two lead male characters are in a hotel room in Vegas and the dialogue was purported to be poignant, relevant, and insightful. Knowing that it was imminent I paid especial attention to it and was pleased to see that it was, indeed, everything it was cracked up to be.

On the opposite side, however, I read an article (which I now can’t find) about this movie and the reviewer claimed that the movie failed because it did not explore the issue of abortion thoroughly enough. This was a stupid observation, I thought, because it’s ludicrous to criticize a movie because it doesn’t address your specific interests. Should I likewise disparage “American Psycho” because it doesn’t explore facial scrubs as much as I’d like?

The one criticism I agreed with about the movie is that, though the male characters were dynamic and well-rounded, the female characters were comparatively shallow. I will admit that it was a refreshing change to sympathize with a male character so to that end the shallow femmes may have been a worthwhile sacrifice. It seems so often that in movies men are uni-dimensional and leave little for the audience to work with so in this respect the movie was brilliant.

Overwhelmingly, however, the interesting thing about this movie is the hype surrounding it. There are countless articles, reviews, and critics seeking to pick it apart and deride the masses for daring to like it. Reviewers and film pundits sneer at the lack of depth and blah blah blah but their disdain is truly humorous when you start to wonder when we all started demanding depth from a comedy.

Truly, that must be the mark of a successful film because this one has managed to succeed in one area so well (comedy) that it’s managed to arouse contemptuous one-liners because of its failure to succeed in another area (social commentary). My only hope is that Judd Apatow doesn’t stagnate in this niche but chooses to develop and grow his gift for telling stories that entertain while resonating deeply.

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