Tuesday, June 05, 2007

You Want Funny?: Knocked Up
I got you there for a second... you thought I was going to give you a movie review of the new Judd Apatow flick, talking about how it was the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. But I haven't actually seen it. Since Apatow worked on The Critic (I loved), Freaks and Geeks (I adored), and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I'm sure when I DO I will be doubled over laughing.

But no, what is even funnier than I'm sure the movie is this: Rebecca Eckler, Canadian columnist extraordinaire, is claiming the movie has COMPLETELY ripped off her book, which is called — wait for it — Knocked Up. Because, as we all know, Eckler coined that phrase. Ahem.

Now, as longtime readers of my blog will know, I'm not a fan of Becky Ecky. I find her writing self-absorbed, irritating, arrogant, and often infuriating. And since she writes all about herself, then I guess I find her that way, too. But now she's taken a movie that is original, funny, unique, and hilarious (all things she's aspired to be for 10 years, still with no success) and claimed that it is that way because, well, they stole EVERYTHING from her book.

You can read Ecky's claim here, in a piece she wrote for Maclean's magazine, a Canadian rag that is the sort of place you'll find rantings from an egotistical being. I opened my Globe and Mail this morning to see her mug staring back at me from the entertainment section, and almost spit out my orange juice laughing. It was brilliant in a way I could have never made up.

Eckler's charges: First, the movie is called Knocked Up. And so (oh my god!) is her book. In other words, neither one is original.

Secondly, Eckler got pregnant while drunk at a party. And so (AH!) does Katherine Heigl's character in the movie. Eckler mentions that her "one night of passion" led to 9 months of pregnancy in the article. But let's take a serious look at this, shall we? First of all, Eckler was ENGAGED to the guy who knocked her up. It was NOT one night of passion. (Or... maybe it was and you wonder just how desperate Ms. Eckler really was.) Heigl's character has a drunken one-night-stand with a guy she doesn't know and doesn't want to know, and is stuck having to get to know him while being pregnant with his child.

Thirdly, Eckler took several pregnancy tests. And (oh, I am REELING) so does Katherine Heigl's character!! But then again, I know that I and every other woman out there only had to take one. That's why they tend to sell the packages in twos or THREES. Cripes. (This is a perfect example of Rebecca Eckler's self-centredness... she's the sort of person to burn her mouth on coffee and think she's the only person on earth to have done it. But only after she's run outside to tell everyone she's discovered a new substance called coffee.)

Fourth, Eckler's book contains a joke about a couple having sex and hitting the baby in the head while she was pregnant. In the movie (oh no they didn't!), a character says he's worried about having sex with his partner because he could poke the baby in the eye. Um... maybe the writers of What to Expect When You're Expecting should be sending a cease and desist order to Eckler, because I remember my husband and I laughing reading it during my first pregnancy, and seeing the question about, "Can I hit the baby in the head if we have sex?" It's SUCH a common question, ask any midwife or doctor. But of course, only a common question because the entire universe read Eckler's book, apparently.

Fifth, Eckler says she never jumped on a trampoline when she was pregnant. She was aghast (AGHAST!) when she saw in the movie there was a joke about a trampoline. Uh... I checked with my resident 'pal who's seen the movie' (thanks, Crissy!) and she told me that the joke involved Seth Rogen's character being too heavy to jump on the trampoline that the little kids were on. Um... right.

So I figured I'd offer my services to Rebecca, not having read her book OR seen the movie, but hey, I bet I can come up with as legitimate a claim as she has so far. Hey Becky, they use the word "pregnant" in the movie a lot... I bet that's ALL THROUGH your book! And, oh, in the movie, the pregnancy lasts NINE MONTHS! Gasp... isn't that how long yours was??? At the end, she gives birth to... not a cat, not a ferret, not a bird, but... A BABY! Holy maternity clothes, wasn't YOUR kid a baby?? The movie was filmed in Hollywood, the land of women with eating disorders, and... oh no... I bet they got that from you as well, didn't they?? Shame on those plagiarist anorexics!!!

I think I'll stop now. This is just TOO easy.

But if you want more funny, check out this article about the made-up raves for Eckler's book. It's AWESOME. Even funnier, the Quill & Quire review of Ecky's newest book, Wiped (look for a surfing movie to be sued by Eckler next). Man, I could go on for days...

UPDATE: I just found this, as I was curious when Eck mentioned it in her Maclean's article. She said that Apatow had stolen an idea from Mark Brazill on That 70s Show, and it's true because she read it in Harpers. Read the actual article to see what an angry, freaky little man Brazill really is.


MC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kris Eton said...

I don't know about you, but if I got drunk and had sex (even with my fiance) at a party and then got pregnant as a result, this would not be an experience I would want to write about detail for detail. No matter how much she loves her child now, someday he will be old enough to read and will find mommy's book...and won't that be pleasant read?

What I thought was hilarious is that she equated a similar picture on a screenplay to the American cover of her book. How does a similar picture mean her book was ripped off? And she even admits that covers can't be copyrighted. So what's the problem??

Plus, instead of taking Apatow's wife's pregnancy as inspiration for his film, she decides the preggo wife must have picked up her book about being pregnant? How self-centered *is* this woman??

MC said...

Re: the Brazill/Apatow situation. The supposedly stolen sketch in question.

I wonder if there is going to be a countersuit.

theTVaddict said...

As much as I'd love to compare the movie to the book (as I'm off to see the movie tonight) I genuinely cannot stand reading Rebecca Eckler's work so I won't be able to make a proper comparison.

That said, Eckler should stop complaining, no doubt the movie, and her shameless whining will do wonders for her book sales.

Jason Halm said...

Wow - Brazill is a turd. Speaking as a family member of multiple people who have suffered from cancer, I don't think I'd cross the street to make tinkles on him if he was on fire... Ok - maybe if he was completely on fire and his life depended on it. But if it was just like an arm or a leg or singed hair - I don't think so.

What the Mark Brazills of the world don't realize is that anyone can come up with an idea. If you don't plan on doing something with your idea, shut the F*** up!

Ideas are not what sell books, advertising or bring in viewers. It's something extra - something - call it 'it'. To quote Janitor describing Turk (concerning how I feel about Judd Apatow (I wouldn't want the writers of Scrubs thinking I stole their line), "I don't know what 'it' is, but he's got IT!" Great episode of Scrubs btw - Ted (lawyer), Turk, Janitor and a random guy go on to form an Air Band - and do an Air Performance of More Than a Feeling by Boston - CLASSIC...

Though I did think that up years ago... while jamming out to Boston. Though it really wasn't Boston. It was The Who, and I wasn't playing an Air Instrument. I was really singing Magic Bus... But I so thought it up and it was going to go in my episode of a SitCom set in a hospital with residents...

Anyway, Judd Apatow has it. Ideas are a penny a dozen. You hear that you hackass Mark Brazill? Apatow has it, and Nikki - don't forget Undeclared on your Judd Apatow list of great stuff... that was great too (and on DVD). I remember when I thought up DVD. I thought VHS is so Eighties. We need something that looks like a CD - stolen.

Fernando said...

This is ridiculous. The movie was hilarious, as everything Judd has done back to Freaks & Geeks. If she knew his filming stile she'd know that 90% of the stufff in the movie is improv which makes it so much better, He just lets the camera roll. Boo hoo. Should have got some rights for movie then.

And the trampoline thing about Seth Rogen is stupid. theres one outside thats like 15 years old but its like 2ft round and I can jump on it for a long time and I weigh much more than Rogen.

I guess I just love Apatow.

And he stole Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Superbad from others as well.

The Original Blawger said...

Fourth, Eckler's book contains a joke about a couple having sex and hitting the baby in the head while she was pregnant.

That was also a joke in the movie Nine Months starring Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore. This can only mean one of two things.

1) The writers of Nine Months traveled forward in time and read Eckler's book to steal the joke.

2) Eckler's sense of humor is so lame she has to steal jokes from Hugh Grant movies.

Leor said...

i saw this today too...unbelievable. i used to not care one way or the other about eckler, but now i really dislike her.

did you check out her blog? even better than her blog is the blog making fun of her!




Nikki Stafford said...

kris eton: I agree with you completely. The kid's been called The Dictator since she was born, so she has to pretty much live with that label all her life, too.

MC: Thanks for the link! Interesting that Brazill had an idea for an entire show, and says he couldn't do it because of Apatow's sketch. Huh? It's like saying you couldn't write a novel because you read a limerick that used the same imagery.

thetvaddict: Sadly, you are so right... of COURSE she wants this movie to do really well, because it'll drive sales, and think of all the moolah she can sue for! Won't get a dime, but the girl can dream... oh wait, she'd need an imagination for that.

Jason: Please don't lose all respect for me, but Undeclared is one of those shows I've always wanted to see and still haven't. Can't believe it, I know...

The original blawger: HAHAHAHA!

Leor: I totally know that other blog; every time Becky makes a post, the other blog makes a parody post of exactly the same thing. I thought it would last for maybe a month, month and a half, but it's still going! I can only imagine how much fun that writer has every day. I mean... it's SO easy to make fun of her! ;)

Jeremy Barker said...

I can't find the comment now, but I read that Knocked Up was already filming when Eckler's book was published. Either way, it seems she has found a way to get her name out in the press once more.

Paticus said...

I need the number of Seth Rogan's attorney !! I got someone pregnant, and I am an overweight hairy stoner !!
Payday for me!! Seth Rogan stole my life !!

The Chapatikid said...

You mean Icky, not Ecky...

Justin Mohareb said...

She also needs to sue Mel Gibson, because there's a pregnant woman in Apocalypto.

And the makers of The Nativity Movie, since there's a woman who got pregnant under strange circumstances in that too. AND the father's Jewish.