Seth Rogen gives schlubs a good name in the anti-romantic comedy Knocked Up. His character is the consummate slacker, a lewd, barely solvent goof who, along with his ragtag roommates, aspires to dot-com greatness. Yet underneath, he's a kind-hearted, vulnerable guy who may just be ready for commitment. Which is a lot like the writer/director Judd Apatow's film, a bawdy comedy under which beats a big-hearted tale of family values. The story is familiar: Slacker meets the career girl/goddess Alison (Katherine Heigl) and a night of shenanigans leads to an unexpected pregnancy. The two of them clumsily, touchingly try to come to terms with their new situation. The film relies heavily on the chemistry between this seemingly mismatched couple, and Heigl and Rogen deliver funny, truthful performances that never make you question the path they choose (or whether the schlub and the goddess are actually right for each other). Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd provide emotional heft as Alison's sister and brother-in-law, whose struggle of a marriage contrasts the fledgling couple's attempts to figure out where they stand.
* Tracey Lazos