From ‘Knocked Up’ To ‘Celtic Pride’: The 5 Funniest Judd Apatow Movies

Wednesday, November 23 by Leah Kayajanian

Judd Apatow and his VIP posse of talented comedians have pretty much dominated the comedy movie genre in the last decade. People know Apatow's name to be synonymous with "funny," and despite the disappointment of a few of his flicks (the ironically named "Funny People," for one), Apatow delivers. Whether he acts as producer, director, writer or all of the above, Apatow's movies always come dipped in a feeling of comforting familiarity. He can do comedy across the spectrum, from the absurd to the strangely sad. His characters are complex, his dialogue is subtle and he has an eye for depicting what ultimately makes us laugh.

  1. "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" Casting Will Ferrell in anything can make a movie a hit, but creating a movie where Will's immense talent does not completely overshadow the rest of the cast makes a classic. While Ferrell as Ron Burgundy certainly reels in most of the film's laughs (picture a very serious Ron Burgundy looking directly into the camera and saying, "I'm Ron Burgundy?"). The ensemble cast of Burgundy's news team (Christina Applegate Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carrell) makes this movie funny always, not just relying on Will's charisma and genius.
  2. "Pineapple Express" Seth Rogen and James Franco play a pothead and his dealer. In "Pineapple Express," he plays out the worst-case-scenario paranoia familiar to anyone who has ever puffed on the green. While not built entirely around blatant pot jokes (Here's looking at you, "Half-Baked"), the scenes are incredibly natural; it is hard to believe that the actors are not actually getting stoned.  Franco's role especially hits home. Try and watch him without thinking of the guy from college who always wants someone to sit and play X-Box with him. The triple threat of Rogen, Franco and Danny McBride's character make this movie funny all the way to the memorably bizarre scene of dialogue that brings it to its close.
  3. "Knocked Up" This movie embodies what Judd Apatow does best and what he has tried to recreate ever since: a touching romantic comedy that seems both authentic and hilarious. While Apatow's later flick, "Funny People," tries to illustrate the blurry line between tragedy and comedy, "Knocked Up" achieves this effortlessly. Katherine Heigl, the film's leading lady, later admits that the movie seemed to make women, specifically her character, seem like the quintessential killjoy. Even if this outdated idea filters into the film's psyche, it is about two irresponsible people forced to grow up. Whether you are a woman or a man, you sympathize with both Rogen and Heigl throughout the film, and at the same time, appreciate the unexpected laughter that comes from hitting too close to home.
  4. "Bridesmaids" A project of Apatow Productions, this film, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, permanently and sufficiently squashes the mantra of the ignorant: "Women aren't funny." While Annie, played by Wiig, braves the storm of her life falling apart around her, the movie does not attempt to show women in a positive or unrealistic light. Though the audience ultimately sides with her, Annie is quite flawed in a very charming way. That is what is great about it; the freedom to make the woman character complex enough to be funny, charming, and rude all at the same time. While Heigl's character in "Knocked Up" comes off practical to the point of near haggery, Annie is comically immature, and a complex human being; truly believable.
  5. "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" While flooded with a barrage of crap like "Not Another Teen Movie," and "Meet the Spartans," Judd Apatow shows off his writing talent with a well-written parody of the critically-acclaimed "Walk the Line." Apatow practices a key component in finding comedy – take a biographical premise and make it ridiculous. In "Walk Hard," Dewey Cox (played by the multi-talented and previously under-rated John C. Reilly) earns his place next to the "Joe Dirts" and "Spinal Taps" of the film world as the talented buffoon who has to rise above his demons.