Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stapler Takes On...

Tonight, my brother took me to see Knocked Up.

I am glad I saw this with my similarly childless sibling, and not a significant other. I don't know if I could cope with this plotline while sitting next to my boyfriend.

Much Blogosphere hay has been made over this movie. Is it feminist, anti-feminist, pro-choice, pro-life, etc etc.

Having seen it for myself, I can say this:

This is as true to life a movie I think I have ever seen.

[WARNING: SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT]

Each scene had rhythms and cadences I hear from my friends every day. The moments and situations that people found Objectionable (in the forms of the reasons above) didn't seem to come from a place of misogyny or malevolence, but experience and observation. The negative behaviors didn't feel proscriptive, but cautionary.

The mother passive-aggressively calling a baby born out of wedlock not a "real" baby.

The relentless pot smoking.

The attempts to start a website, only to discover an identical one, already well-established.

The affection for someone your more shallow friends deem not worthy of attention. (And the resultant self-examination.)

The arguments in the film (the actual yelled conversations, not the points of view) were well done. They were biting and sharp, and there was no clear winner or loser.

Was Debbie really an overbearing bitch? Was Pete really an ineffective parent and husband?

Like life, the answers were somewhere in the middle.

The movie was incredibly well-done. However, for its excellence, I haven't made up my mind if I actually enjoyed it. It's not easy to enjoy something that hurts to watch because it feels so real.

All of that aside, there was one moment I was actually offended by: Ben's misunderstanding of "Just do it already," leading to his not using a condom. (And giving us the rest of the movie.) While clearly it is this decision that furthers the plot along, it was monumentally stupid, even beyond Ben's inability to function as an adult.

Obviously Allison's pregnancy is the price of this tactical failure, but the other possible consequences are legion.

I sincerely doubt any dramatic significance would have been lost had the condom been used.

The scene already indicated Ben had whiskey dick, so the condom could have slipped off during intercourse. Or it could have been expired. Or even worse, been sitting in his wallet for ages and begun to disintegrate.

All of these scenarios are a) more plausible, and b) less emotionally violating than someone being so boneheaded as to not wear a condom at all.

If I found out I was pregnant because the man I'd fucked simply hadn't put the condom on, I would feel incredibly violated, and would terminate the pregnancy. End of story. Ben not using a condom showed such an extreme lack of consideration for anything, I was appalled.

In the event of a contraceptive failure, however, it would be a different story. Concern, no matter how insignificant or selfish, would have been shown.

In closing, for a movie that raised such ire in the feminist blogosphere, to have only one such moment of "Oh HELL no," I was actually kind of impressed. I don't know if I can tolerate a second viewing of this movie. Not because of its quality--the situations were just entirely too real to be comfortable following them again.

Definitely see this movie and make your own opinion. It's worth seeing and judging for yourself.

2 comments:

Jonathan Harford said...

Ha! First I was eager and you were wary, then I was disappointed (pretty much for the reasons you were wary!), now you're, like, appointed!

ME said...

The Missus and I loved it. We laughed, we cried, we even tolerated the "guy makes good" montage at the end. We mostly were just glad to have a few hours free from the kids.

The arguments regarding condom use were cute. Such vehemance, such Jacobin fury in the face of human passion and unreason.