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'Knocked Up'

In the "seemingly raunchy but actually sweet relationship comedy" genre, writer-director Judd Apatow is king. And with the benefit of hindsight, his 40-Year-Old Virgin plays almost like a warm-up to this very funny Peter Pan-and-Wendy- get-preggers story.

Katherine Heigl plays a fast-rising TV entertainment reporter who has to rethink her priorities on the fly when she finds herself in the family way after a one-night stand with Seth Rogen's stoner dude. He's having way too much fun playing with his lost-boy buds to want to grow up anytime soon, but, well, this ain't adolescence anymore.

With that title, and surprisingly explicit sex for a mainstream romantic comedy, not to mention language blue enough to earn an R rating even without the sex, the film is clearly aimed at a young-adult crowd. But it's likely to appeal to older viewers, too — because its stars and its jokes are appealing, and also because it's emotionally true.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.