Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

K-Lo vs. KNOCKED UP

The good news is that the film is very pro-life and pro-marriage (at least after you’ve been knocked up). That’s a bigger thing than Ms. Lopez acknowledges. This has been a very over-hyped movie, with extensive coverage on NPR, the Today show etc., and a long and boring article in the NYT Magazine. The mainstream media is in love with a piece of art that celebrates secular, sophisticated America’s pro-life awakening. (George Will certainly needs to see it!)

The simple message is that for admirable people "bohemian" trumps "bourgeois," and so lovable babies are chosen over even lucrative designer careers. Being kocked up is a blessing that reveals that life is too wonderful and lovable to be reduced to planning. The shortcoming Kathryn rightly objects to is that the bohemian "lifestyle" portrayed is just too gross and stupid, and you can’t help but remember the wisdom of ANIMAL HOUSE: Fat, drunk (or stoned), and stupid is no way to go through life. On the other hand, presumably the baby will bourgeoisify the fat guy just enough to make him responsible and all that, and so in its own way KNOCKED UP may embrace the wisdom spoken in ANIMAL HOUSE (and KU is certainly much less cynical than AH). My objection to this fairly funny but overrated film is that its basic story is too wish-fulfillment sentimental, and that it could easily have had some class and real plot. With credible characters, it could easily have been more funny. So KNOCKED UP doesn’t rise to the level of its creator’s excellent FREAKS AND GEEKS, although it’s less stupid than THE FORTY YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.

All in all, it’s the message more than the art or even the entertainment that causes KNOCKED UP to get a thumbs up.

Discussions - 14 Comments

Fourty Year Old Version?

I saw it this past weekend as well, and I agree almost entirely with Peter's assessment. If it's been over-hyped, though, I suspect that it's because it might otherwise get lost in the field of big-budget summer blockbusters. It shouldn't.

Thanks! Busy morning, didn't proof, think VIRGIN is a stupid word for a movie title etc.

The simple message is that for admirable people "bohemian" trumps "bourgeois," and so lovable babies are chosen over even lucrative designer careers.


Do you give any thought at all to the meanings of the words you splatter on this forum?

According to the OED, a bohemian is a socially unconventional person, and "bourgeois" refers to people with conventional attitudes.


Given those definitions, your argument quoted above is perfectly opaque. From the fact that people choose the unconventional over the conventional, how does it follow that they will choose lovable babies over designer careers?


I'm not disagreeing with what you wrote; I simply don't understand what you wrote. Do you? Does anyone?

Wow, Michelle, way to be nasty on your first comment here.

Michell - he is referring to a work of social criticism by David Brooks called Bobos in Paradise (2000). The seemingly contradictory "bourgeois bohemian" or "bobo" is, according to Brooks, a type prominent in the upper middle class of the US.

Sorry John and Peter, but I have to disagree with your lukewarm assessment. This was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

Thanks, wm, I actually thought there was something to Michelle's complaint.

Yeah, Peter (and Michelle), I thought your (Peter's) point was counterintuitive: one would think the bourgeois would rise to the occasion and assume domestic duty, while the bohemian would not embrace (unsought!) responsibility. But your paradoxically made point made sense ... pretty much (mainly because of the odd setup of the movie). So I guess I'm kindof between Michelle's harsh critique and Peter's not fully robust self-defense, closer to the latter, though.

I also have to disagree with Peter's claim that 40 Year Old Vir. is "stupid." That was one of the better comedies of the last 10 years. This may actually be the first time I have heard anyone not characterize it that way. Maybe Peter and K-Lo are a little too far to the right to know what's funny?

I didn't say the 40yroldvir wasn't funny.

Michelle, I've had the same reaction as you sometimes to reading Peter's prose, but as you see in the post right above this one, there are times when he puts everything just stunningly right. By the way, is KNOCKED UP actually participating in this thread?

Comment 5 by John Moser Wow, Michelle, way to be nasty on your first comment here.


It wasn't my first comment here, and I wasn't nasty.

Comment 6 by wm: Michell - he is referring to a work of social criticism by David Brooks called Bobos in Paradise (2000). The seemingly contradictory "bourgeois bohemian" or "bobo" is, according to Brooks, a type prominent in the upper middle class of the US.


Thank you, wm, I'm aware of David Brooks. Lawler's argument, which I quoted, is a non sequitur, and a tacit allusion to David Brooks — if one was intended — won't change that fact.

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