Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Judd Apatow Knows What's [Knocked] Up

During our class discussion on Knocked Up we talked about director Judd Apatow's aversion to the word abortion. An argument was made that Apatow did not use the word abortion in the film because he had some sort of moral objection to abortion and that the film may have some sort of pro-life agenda.

This assertion seemed strange to me. I think anyone that knows Apatow's repertoire knows that he is a remarkably liberal director, even winning a GLAAD award for an episode of 'Freaks and Geeks' that featured an intersexed character. He parodies ignorant opinions of homosexuals and other marginalized groups(that, admittedly, probably goes over the heads of most of his audience). So to say that not saying the word abortion and instead using euphemisms like, "have it taken care of" and "shma-shmortion" seemed like comedic choices, not political ones.

So I did my homework. I watched the commentary for Knocked Up and was able to find the evidence that I needed. In the commentary, Apatow says that, "people always think I'm anti-abortion because [Alison and Ben] don't get an abortion in the movie. But if they did, the movie would be 10 minutes long."

Thank you! I noted this in class and it wasn't well received. I will attribute that to my really outdated reference to the TV series 'Maude', Bea Arthur's show from the '70s. I mentioned that it's easier for a TV series to portray an abortion than it is for a movie because it ends a movie whereas a TV series will continue on. (There have to me more recent examples than 'Maude,' but that was the first one that came to mind.)

Apatow also mentions that he thinks Alison didn't get an abortion because, "She saw the heartbeat and that had an affect on her. And partially because her mom's a bitch."

Seth Rogen, the film's main character, on those who thought that Apatow's characters not having an abortion was some sort of political statement said, "Are the guys who made Ocean's 13 pro-bank robbing? Is Harold Ramis pro-dispensing of ghosts?"

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