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Do You Think Knocked Up Is Sexist?

In a recent Vanity Fair interview , Katherine Heigl stated that she didn't really like Knocked Up because she thinks it's sexist. She says, "It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I'm playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you're portraying women?"

While I think her character is underdeveloped in comparison to the other (male) characters (i.e. why does she have absolutely no friends?), I'm not sure what I think about the statement that the depiction of women in Knocked Up is sexist. What do you think?

And speaking of Judd Apatow movies, you can currently check out a clip from his next project Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.


Join The Conversation
ginseng ginseng 9 years
My real problem with the movie is that it seemed like a step backward, as though Roe vs. Wade never existed. Had no one even considered the word "abortion"? It was looking at a problem in a world that wasn't "real."
AndiO1225 AndiO1225 9 years
I didn't think it was sexist but all I kept thinking the whole time was, why would a beautiful successfull woman be with a guy who was not good looking and didn't even have a job. I mean if you want a baby then have it but why would you try to make it work with a loser?
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I didn't think it was sexist at all. Not all women are as career-oriented as the woman, and not all men are weed-smoking slackers like the guy. It is a comedy, and Katherine is correct to say that the characters are exaggerated, but to call the movie sexist is really stretching it.
kersalli kersalli 9 years
I'm going to pretend she didn't say that. Way to bite the hand that feeds you Katherine. BTW, Knocked Up isn't sexist. The women is the film are actually pretty realistic compared to most women I know. We can be a lot of things and this movies shows that we are more than just naggy.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I kinda see the point - the women in Apatow's movies are the men's saviors bringing them into happiness and the light... and I can see how it would be grating as you were doing it to notice the women are always the heavy. My dad always hated that kind of dynamic in the Simpsons, and I think it is still sexist even when it makes the woman up on a pedestal b/c it makes men and women different and not equal. I don't want to be the reason my husband is mature and normal and his everything. We're partners, we're both funny, both uptight and both keep the other together. The movies are just repeatedly exploring just the men, and barely developing the women... The writers and ppl that make movies are men... and they write funny men... but there aren't a lot of parts for funny leading ladies, even when they're the 'star' like in Knocked Up... women aren't making it as writers or directors or producers or execs in the same numbers as men, the male 18-25 is the demo studios sell to, and women will watch (awesome) movies centered on men like Superbad, but men will label the same raunch hilarity as a niche chick flick when it is about a woman or stars women... there is a whole world that creates this sexism... but to deny it the label is wrong... I really liked Dana Stevens' article "What knocked up gets wrong about women" ( and this discussion reminded me of it...
sauterhead sauterhead 9 years
I think that's she's perfectly validated to have an opinion about how the film shows women - she had to have realized that so much of the comedic value relies on the guys, or the (exaggerated) reaction of the women - if nobody played bitches, there would be no TV or film, you don't have to think you as a person are like that, or that your character is a role model. Besides, she said she loved 98% of it - I think a 2% unhappiness percentile is entirely acceptable in most everything.
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
It didn't make any sense to me why her character had a job on E! but she still lived with her sister. Get your own place, sheez! And yeah, she had no friends. There was a lot of b.s. in that movie. Sounds like sour grapes when you complain about the movie you were in that lined your wallet, though.
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
Ok. I haven't seen the film so I don't know, but there are tons of movies made by tons of actors that they didn't like later, but once they agreed to do it, they were stuck. That doesn't make her whiney or ungrateful. You'll find that every actor has a few roles under their belts that they're not proud of. She is entitled to her opinion, after all.
MamaD MamaD 9 years
I think it wasn't sexist at all!!!! I think it drove the point home of how unfunny and serious an unwanted pregnancy can be. And also how much of the responsibility lies with the mother rather than the father. She couldn't screw around with the situation since she was living it 24/7. he on the other hand could return to his asinine existence as the boy that never grew up! And I think that scenario is typical of that generation. She was obviously more career drive than he was so the pregnancy affected her life choices so much more. I think it was an exercise in when reality meets fantasy!
Choco-cat Choco-cat 9 years
I did think the movie was sexist. What I don't understand is, if she felt that way, why she agreed to do the film.
robinsf robinsf 9 years
i saw the movie several months ago, but i def remember having problems with the portrayals of men vs. women in the movie. i do agree that it is sexist to the degree that i even started to hate how shrewish the sister was made out to be as the movie progressed, tho the men also seemed to be big lunks, except that you seemed to like them more because they were also funny. so i think heigl's right, and i do have a problem with it, but i also thought the movie was hilarious. heigl has every right to speak out about her criticisms with the movie; just because she made good money from it doesn't mean she's beholden to apatow in terms of having to hold her tongue or not have a dissenting opinion. what i can't wait for is apatow or some smart producer to take on a movie that fleshes out the smart/funny/dorky woman's point of view in a situation like this ... and i know they exist!
rivrchild rivrchild 9 years
Onesong, as far as perpetuating the idea that we are emotional trainwrecks - first of all the movie is called Knocked Up, and I don't know about you, but if I got pregnant in that situation, I'd be emotional too. In fact, I'd be emotional while pregnant no matter what the circumstances because that's how we women are when we get pregnant! Why is that such a hateful thing to admit to? It doesn't make us bitches, it's just part of life! I think the movie hit the nail on the head 99% of the time, which is what made it so funny. If you can't admit that women get more emotional than men, then you probably didn't find it amusing. Oh well. I can accept the fact, and EMBRACE the fact that I am emotional, and would be even more so in her situation. I don't see why it's such a horrible thing. You know why guys don't get up in arms about the stereotypes that they are given in movies? Because they know they are true!
pipette1110 pipette1110 9 years
i think it was obscene and stupid!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
Its like the man's version of a chick flick. The opposite sex is totally stereotyped. I thought the movie was funny but I'm with amybdk: "no one has mentioned the big hairless vag during the birthing scene! I found THAT a bit ridiculous...." HA! I thought that was ridiculous too...maybe I'm naive but who gets a brazilian when they're prego?
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i don't think that it was sexist at all - there are certain generalizations that are made about life that the movie noted - but it was all in good fun.
leahlarocco leahlarocco 9 years
That's really not smart of her to be dissing a movie that made her a good chunk of change. If her ethics were so compromised, she should have chosen a different project.
purselova418 purselova418 9 years
I do think the movie really let ppl know her name. Everyone says oh she was on Grey's but she wasn't a favorite on that show either. SO i do think Knocked Up really helped her and she should be grateful for it instead of whining all the time. She even b@tched while she was winning an Emmy.. Come on shut up KH you wouldnt have got three covers in one month of a magazine if Seth Rogan didnt give you a chance. Also, she was on a show before Greys for years and no one knew who she was
amybdk amybdk 9 years
no one has mentioned the big hairless vag during the birthing scene! I found THAT a bit ridiculous....
ricarocks ricarocks 9 years
it's a guys movie? it's portrayed from the male point of view! it's supposed to be exaggerated and slightly unrealistic. guys aren't easygoing and fun all the time and women aren't bitchy all the time.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i can see what she means, but it didn't bother me. i mean, it's just a movie! i don't see why she would have agreed to do the movie in the first place if she didn't like how women were portrayed, unless they somehow edited it to make it seem worse than it really was. whatever, i don't like her at all. and the funny thing about it is i don't know whether i just don't like her, or if i don't like her because i can't really stand her character on greys lol.
onesong onesong 9 years
I see her point and it TOTALLY bothers me. Her character is one female stereotype after another. I didn't even find the movie funny because her character was so "underdeveloped." I just kept thinking, "this is the kind of this that perpetuates the idea that women are whining crying emotional trainwrecks all the time, and PS we hate your friends and want you with us nonstop. also, if we don't get flowers and diamonds and romantic gestures, we are henious b*tches." it really made me angry!
lifer_refil lifer_refil 9 years
I don't remember much of this movie. I found it a bore. I prefer Katherine Heigl on Wish Upon a Star! :)
liladdieshudiva liladdieshudiva 9 years
Alison's sister was a pain in the a**. I thought the movie was funny. Do people really act like those guys???
bonbonfay bonbonfay 9 years
Sexist? No. Stupid? Check. Terrible acting? Check. OVERRATED!!!!! OVERRATED!!!!!
Jillz1128 Jillz1128 9 years
Ew Katherine just stop! What is with this girl dissing her hits?!
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