The XX Factor

Judd Apatow Reminds Us Women Are Dopey, Just Like Men

Judd Apatow’s new movie Funny People , starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, comes out next week. It’s pretty much guaranteed to restart the conversation about bromantic men-children and the women who love them that Knocked Up began, but Apatow really doesn’t want to be called sexist this time around .

Speaking about Knocked Up at a recent screening of Funny People, Apatow defended his earlier film, saying, “I think, really, what a lot of these issues are is that women are romanticized in movies. [My] movies go pretty hard at having women have as many problems as men. They make mistakes that are as big as men’s. So when someone says Knocked Up seems sexist, I’m like, ‘Really?’ I mean, Seth [Rogen] has an earthquake, and he grabs his bong before his pregnant girlfriend. That’s pretty bad. But I try to weigh it evenly so it’s not really about men or women; it’s just about miscommunications and us at our worst.”

I’ve never thought Knocked Up was quite sexist, so much as vastly more sympathetic to immature behavior than uptight behavior, but I’ll take the bait. Is Apatow onto something? Are women romanticized in movies more than men? And isn’t romanticizing people and situations part of what movies do? And does this seem like a plausible defense of Knocked Up , given that, in the Apatow universe, grabbing the bong doesn’t feel like as big a mistake as being a shrew?

Production still of Funny People courtesy of Universal Pictures.