Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wait a Minute . . . I'm Knocked Up, Too!!!
I blogged a couple of weeks ago on the hysterically funny news story that the brain trust that is Rebecca Eckler had launched a lawsuit against Judd Apatow and the movie Knocked Up because it ripped off her book. Her contentions were:

A) she'd made a joke in her book about worrying about the baby's head being hit during sex
B) she'd commented on not jumping on a trampoline while pregnant, something repeated in the film
C) Her book was called Knocked Up, same as the film, and she apparently coined the phrase
D) she got pregnant while drunk at a party, as did the character in the film (well, Heigl's character got drunk in a bar, and slept with a guy she didn't know, while Becks got drunk at HER ENGAGEMENT party... the mind boggles)
E) she took several pregnancy tests to make sure she was pregnant
F) she talked about a friend with kids she turned to for advice, while Heigl turns to her sister with kids
G) the cover of her book had a binky hooked on a martini glass, which was the cover of the original script (and several other ads and illustrations, but who's counting?)
H) she was the first woman in the history of women to actually get pregnant and carry the baby for 9 months, and she was mad as hell that the movie would talk about EXACTLY the same experience of pregnancy that her book was about. Or something.

But when I blogged, I admitted I hadn't yet seen the film. Well, I've seen the film. And I'm pregnant. And I've been pregnant before and have been through everything, and dude? I'm PISSED. I will be launching my lawsuit next week against both Apatow AND Eckler.*

My contentions:
A) I got pregnant by having sex. I know, I know, very personal information, and it's not the typical way women get pregnant (isn't it crossing their fingers and hoping REALLY HARD?) but that's how I did it, and that's how both Alison (Heigl's character) and Eckler did it.
B) I talked to women who had kids when they were pregnant. They were friends of mine, and I wasn't actually asking questions about pregnancy, I was just TALKING to them, but hey, despite what Eckler said, in the movie Alison happens to live with her sister and doesn't actually ask her advice about giving birth or having a kid, it's more advice about men and marriage. So I figure if I talked to friends with kids while I was pregnant about the latest book they'd read or asked them for a recipe, I have grounds for a case.
C) I was pregnant during the 2004 Summer Olympics (I laboured during the men's high dive... seriously) and I saw women jumping on a trampoline. And it might have occurred to me that in my condition, I couldn't do that. Now, in the movie, Seth Rogen's character is reading a line from What to Expect When You're Expecting about how pregnant women couldn't jump on trampolines, and since that book predates Eckler's by about 15 years, and since she STILL thinks she has grounds for a lawsuit, then... so do I.
D) My belly got very round and big during my pregnancy (and it's big again... my arms are straight out in front of me typing this while I'm sitting further away from the desk) and so did both Eckler and Alison!! But that's not normal, right??
E) My pregnancy lasted 40 weeks. That seems like a REALLY long time, and so far, this one is doing the same. Both Alison and Rebecca went full-term.
F) I knew I'd gone into labour when I felt a lot of pain. Eckler felt pain. So did Alison. But labour should be painless, right? It's why so many women have kids.
G) I had an epidural when I'd been in labour for 20 hours and couldn't take the pain anymore. Now, I know that Alison ends up going the drug-free route with no pain meds at all, but see, Rebecca Eckler made a big stink about how there was NO WAY she was going to push one of those things out of her vagina, because IMAGINE what it would DO to that part of her body, and she actually flew out to Calgary to have an elective C-section because she said she was a busy gal who didn't have time for god-knows-how-long labour, and didn't want to go through the pain. In other words, she was willing to raise the kid, but not divulge the time and energy to actually HAVE it. So if SHE can say this movie resembled her experience when Alison is on the opposite end of the spectrum than Rebecca, then *I* can say the same thing for being even closer to Alison on that spectrum.
H) Alison takes the baby home from the hospital. *I* took the baby home from the hospital. Rebecca had her sister take the baby home from the hospital so she could go eat sushi, something she hadn't eaten for 9 months. My experience is more like Alison's.
I) Alison is an anchor woman on the E! channel. I watch entertainment shows. SERIOUSLY. Can you believe this??
J) Alison interviews Matthew Fox. I wrote a book where Matthew Fox features very heavily. The similarities are startling. (Okay, and in this scene is the best line in the film. Rogen says, "Oh no way, you're going to interview Matthew Fox? You wanna know the interesting thing about Matthew Fox? NOTHING." hahahahahahahaha)

The end of the movie is baffling, as there are several picture of Alison holding a happy baby and being a glowing mother. Rebecca, on the other hand, started a blog called "Nine-Pound Dictator" and never talks about the kid in any terms other than "GOD... motherhood is so HARD..." So I guess Becky is only suing on the pregnancy part? Or the early pregnancy part?

Seriously, Eckler, just quit. No one who has read your book (utter, useless tripe) and seen the movie (actually very funny, with the highlight being a run-in Alison's sister has with a bouncer that had me unable to breathe I was laughing so hard) will see the similarities.

I highly recommend this site if you want a laugh. They called for people to send in any pics they could find of a martini glass and a binky to show that Eckler's book is NOT the only cover in the universe to come up with a connection. They've also found other pop culture references riffing on the same jokes Eckler had in her book. Apatow's attorneys don't need to do a lot of extra work; bloggers are doing it for them. :)

*Nikki Stafford will not necessarily be launching a lawsuit next week.


Justin Mohareb said...

I think she should also sue the creators of The Nativity Story, since it deals almost ENTIRELY with the results of an unplanned pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

I think we should start a class action siut. I have had 2 kids! and I fit most of the criteria!

Chris in NF said...

You've inspired me, Nikki, and although I've never had a baby I *have* done a PhD, been hired as a tenure-track professor, and had to deal with all sorts of academic bullshit. Did David Lodge steal my life to write all his novels? I think so!

Love Mommy said...

I love you Nikki Stafford because you are too funny -and you are so right on in this regard. I love the movie too and it has nothing to do with Rebecca Eckler's book, especially because the glowing mother in the movie "Alison", who goes through very painful, natural childbirth has nothing do with the sushi-eating Rebecca whose planned C-section amazes me. "Alison" so gets the joy of motherhood. She even writes letters to her unborn child, (much like my book, Love Mommy: Writing Love Letters To Your Baby,) and is actually transformed completely by motherhood and all that it entails. I can't even believe that Eckler had sushi instead of going home with her new baby. I couldn't even eat, I just wanted to be with my son. I was so glued to him, that I could barely separate from him at all. And it was never a chore. Cliff and I would stare at him for hours, marvelling that he came from us and the best entertainment was gazing at him, cuddling him, feeding him, watching him. And ironically in the film, you saw this character fall madly in love with her baby and everything else fell by the wayside. Eckler's take on motherhood while seemingly droll and irreverent, is becoming so tired, and it is so opposite to everything most of us feel, that it's hard to feel any sympathy. It is also so opposite to Alison's character in the film, that it's amazing that there even is a lawsuit.

The Chapati Kid said...

I was drinking a glass of water and reading this.

Then I read "Alison takes the baby home from the hospital. *I* took the baby home from the hospital."

Now I'm going to sue you for frying my laptop because you made me spit water all over it.

Megan said...

OK its totally on!!!1! Suing Ickler is MY IDEA and now i am going to sue you for plagiarism. I am the hottest yummy mummy tehre is especially in a tank-top and I always do everything first and anyone who does anything I do is just jelous.

God, I can't stand that woman. I love your blog, by the way.

Nikki Stafford said...

Steve & Megan: First of all, your post = hilarious. Secondly, it was posted 4 hours AFTER my initial post on Eckler.
So I'm totally countersuing. ;)

Megan said...

Gaa! That is totally NOT cool and really not even right becuz Ive been jelos of her much much longer then you. It is MY IDEA!!!

And youve just provied my point because actually I wrote about her even before I decided to sue her to hitch on to her amazing stardom because that's what my writing career actually needs is a boost from a celebrity like her. So I am TOTALLY ORIGINAL!

Nikki Stafford said...

Ah, well, now I see a major difference between the two of us. While I was also writing about her a year ago, I've never, ever been jealous of her. In fact, if I thought for a second that I was anything like her I think I'd throw myself under a streetcar.

So I withdraw my countersuit. :)