This morning, I was trying to figure out why the movie appealed to me so deeply, and I realized that it was because it’s all about the nature of love – all sorts of love, between strangers, lovers, spouses, friends, co-workers, sisters, in-laws, parents and children…
As well as being hilariously funny, the movie has transcendent moments, when the characters truly tried to connect, or to offer love, or to help, or to take on responsibility, or to change. People were bickering, flaking out, being selfish and irresponsible, but they also tried to do better.
These moments didn’t seem too unrealistically sappy, and they were on the small scale in which most of life is lived: we make many of our important decisions about little matters.
I was reminded about something Flannery O’Connor wrote about her own work:
“From my own experience in trying to make stories ‘work,’ I have discovered that what is needed is an action that is totally unexpected, yet totally believable, and I have found that, for me, this is always an action which indicates that grace has been offered. And frequently it is an action in which the devil has been the unwilling instrument of grace. This is not a piece of knowledge that I consciously put into my stories; it is a discovery that I get out of them.”
Knocked Up is a terrific example of “the devil being the unwilling instrument of grace.” Though I’m not sure Flannery O’Connor would have liked Knocked Up very much.
Just in case the audience might miss this point, the last few minutes of the movie make that point explicit.
Busy Mom is a great blog — the subtitle, “Better parenting through coffee” gives a good clue to the sensibility. I always find myself chuckling away to myself as I read. I’m sure I sound like an idiot, so good thing I’m alone in my office.