Is Katherine Heigl’s character poorly written?

Karina Longworth at SpoutBlog has some interesting comments on Knocked Up and the alleged lack of realism therein:

Stepping away from Denby and Emdashes for a moment, this brings us back to the elephant that’s always in the room when talking Knocked Up: the idea that Katherine Heigl’s character is poorly written, because someone like that would never get involved with someone like the character played by Seth Rogen. I know it’s a stretch to ask anyone whose natural analysis of character stops at “Pretty” or “Fat” to think this way, but do you think it’s maybe possible that the Katherine Heigl character was written that way for a reason? Is it so hard to imagine that a woman whose chief asset is her body, whose greatest aspiration is to follow in the footsteps of Giuliana DePandi (no offense to Giuliani), who is clearly lonely as hell (her only friend is apparently her shrewish older sister, who’s clearly occupied with her own pre-midlife crisis) would be lacking in self-confidence and self-worth, and for all of the reasons above, would be attracted to the unconditional love that a baby would represent?

It’s like there some kind of post-feminist block that won’t allow some female critics/viewers to admit that some real-world women are less than total braniacs, and/or that *most* women make decisions from time to time that don’t make total sense, and/or that in real life, attractive-but-dim women often date down the social ladder, picking men who they feel they can control without worrying that they’ll get dumped. At least Seth Rogen’s character showed promising glimpses, signs that he was capable of being genuinely caring, witty and kind. This puts him miles ahead of the average 23-year-old boy.

More interesting thoughts on the film at the link above.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).