26 Mar 2014

ROM COM RULES - Knocked Up

More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.  Can a film be a Slacker Comedy and a Rom Com?  Let's look at Knocked Up.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for

Knocked Up (2007)

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Ben Stone & Alison Scott.
i.  Balance - The film is split between Ben & Alison, although Alison's sister and husband get some screen time together.
ii.  Opposites in Attitude/Behaviour - He is a slacker, she's a efficient career woman.
iv.  Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - Alison works for E!
B:  The Best Friend/Confidant - Ben has a large group of slacker, stoner friends (a ugly, whacky, sleezy bunch).  Alison lives with her sister, brother in-law and their children (family).  

C:  The Third Person - There is no third person.

RULE #2 - There Won't Be T&A

Shows Ben's butt.  Boobs are shown in the Carrie opening credits.  Later after an earthquake, his friend Jonah's girlfriend and his friend Jason appear nude.  Strippers in a strip club scene appear topless.  There is a faux-vagina during the birthing scene.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

They meet at a bar, unable to get the barman's attention.  Cutish, I guess.

RULE #4 - Circumstances

Circumstances actually work for them, bringing them back together after a one night stand.  Although they do split up after an argument.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

Ben never seems to get beyond realising that he's with someone better than he would normally be able to get.  Alison comments in the delivery room that she never thought that the man she made the baby with would be Mr Right.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up

A:  Reason - Hormones and problems in Alison sister's marriage cause her to fight and break up with Ben.
B:  Event - It is on the way to and during just one of many visits to the doctor.
C:  Humiliation - Alison is embarrassed by their fight being in front of a nurse.
E:  Turmoil - Of course they both go through it.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

She refuses to take him back, but there is nothing stopping them.

RULE #8 - Redemption

A:  Giving Up Something Dear - He gets a real job and leaves the house he shares with his friends and finally reads the baby books.
D:  Romantic Gesture - The closest it gets is Ben taking the doctor out of the delivery room to tell him to be nicer to Alison.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

The fill ends with them driving from the hospital to his house for the first time.  The credits contain clips of the first few months of the child's life and everyone is happy.

RULE #10 - Sequels

No sequels, but a spin-off movie about Alison's sister & her husband: This Is 40 (2012)


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  1Ai; 1Aii; 1Aiv; 1B; 6A; 6E; 9.
  • Rules that are partially followed in this film:   3; 4; 5; 6B; 6C; 7; 8D; 10.
  • Rules that are not followed in this film:  1Aiii; 1C; 2; 6D; 8B; 8C.
~ DUG.

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