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Hard-knock life.

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"Don't let him near the kid, he wants to rear your child!"
Lately, it’s seemed that critical esteem and popular success have not only parted ways but are scurrying apart, head down in true Walk of Shame fashion, so it’s nice to see that "Knocked Up" has turned out to not only be one of the best-reviewed films of the year — Andrew Sarris even graced it with a Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder comparison — but also a hit at the box office. It’s even, as pointed out by Glenn Kenny at Premiere, received the equivalent of a grimacing air hug from unexpected sources like the National Review for its, to cite another unexpected pop proponent of traditional values, "He says that he’s going to marry me / We can raise a little family" storyline.

Still, there have been notable dissenters, and on top of Dana Stevens‘ "speaking for the women" review at Slate (an approach that generally gets our hackles up) there’s now Peter Bart at Variety, who echoes some of Stevens’ points on the credibility of the film’s set-up: "Are we so ‘values driven’ that we’re prepared to overlook the fact that the ‘values’ of this film defy credibility?" He adds:

With all its trash talk and its drug paraphernalia, "Knocked Up" is, at its core, a thoroughly sentimental exercise. The sentiment is salted with some superbly satiric scenes sending up medical practitioners, E! Channel producers and almost everyone else along the way. [Judd] Apatow clearly is a young writer who can write brilliant scenes, but not yet brilliant stories.

We’re not going to debate the details of the movie itself, but we do feel that Mr. Bart is missing a certain point; Apatow has produced a sentimental exercise. This film and "The 40 Year Old Virgin" aren’t aspiring toward legendarily dirty comedy status, they’re attempting to fend off what have become compulsive protective coatings of irony and cynicism to reach something sincere and, sure, sentimental in their portrayals of romance and friendship. It’s not such a bad thing, regardless of the feasibility of a lack of debate on a "rhymes with ‘shmashmortion.’"

In other news on the film, Canadian author Rebecca Eckler is suing Apatow and Universal Studios for stealing her ideas; more specifically, the ones detailed in her book "Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be." She writes about the lawsuit at Macleans magazine.

Over at the Risky Biz blog, Gregg Kilday‘s found a deleted scene up on YouTube that includes Jonah Hill‘s character hilariously expounding on a ballyhooed "Brokeback Mountain" point — why no sex?

+ Knocking the ‘Knocked Up’ boys (Premiere)
+ Not getting ‘Knocked Up’ (Variety)
+ The Canadian author of ‘Knocked Up’ on why she’s suing Judd Apatow and Universal over Apatow’s new movie (
+ Take that, Ang Lee (Risky Biz Blog)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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