Poor Rebecca Eckler.
The Summer of Knocked Up has begun, and in the midst of the movie's wildly positive reception -- The New York Times loves it! So do pro-life activists! -- the Canadian journalist apparently feels that something crucial has been left out. Namely, her.
Eckler is a former columnist for Canada's National Post, but more important is that she's also the author of a 2005 memoir called Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be. The book begins with some unexpected bun/oven synergy, and ends after nine months and more than 350 pages, most of which feature Eckler worrying over whether her ass will get fat because of the pregnancy. (At the risk of spoiling the ending: it does.) The book, as well as its follow-up (want to guess what Wiped! Life With a Pint-Sized Dictator was about?) wasn't exactly well-received in the press -- a now-notorious review of Wiped! in Canada's Quill & Quire proclaimed that "What's missing...is any intelligent self-analysis that might convince the reader that the book's title is anything other than a declaration of how its pages might best have been used."
Now Eckler claims to be filing a lawsuit against director Judd Apatow and Universal Studios, Knocked Up's producer, alleging that the comedy's creators ripped off her unique story of an unplanned pregnancy. How'd they do that?
Well, there's the name, of course. And Ben and Alison's drunken condom misunderstanding was just like that of Eckler and her now-husband -- except for the part where the two were already engaged at the time of their tot's inadvertent conception. Plus, Ben is Jewish -- just like Eckler's husband! And -- get ready for the kicker -- it seems that, like Alison, Eckler was also working in the mass media at the time.
"[W]hat got me was the fact that 'Alison' was an up-and-coming television reporter; in my book, I was an up-and-coming newspaper reporter," Eckler writes in the current issue of Macleans magazine , explaining her decision to sue Apatow.
The lack of condom, the Jewish partner, the job in media -- it's uncanny. What's next -- she and Alison both have an affinity for designer jeans and strappy sandals? Did she, too, get a wee bit bloated in that ninth month?
I'm not ashamed to say I'm reveling in the schadenfreudeliciousness of this development. You would be, too, if you'd suffered through the entire experience of Knocked Up, the book, whose vapid prose stylings and vast sense of entitlement make Carrie Bradshaw sound like Emma Goldman. (Sample rumination: "The thought of a baby coming from Down There terrifies me. How can a baby possibly come out from Down There?") The only way this could get better is if she brings a retroactive lawsuit against the makers of the 1997 Matthew Perry/Salma Hayek film Fools Rush In, which also involved a conception-fated one-night stand and the madcap hilarity that results. Sure, the movie was made many years before Eckler decided that a baby could make for a cute accessory, but why should that hamper the litigation?
Knocked Up, the film, certainly has its flaws, but one of the things I most appreciated about it is that -- and please correct me if my Eckler-loathing has clouded the plot points -- Alison spends exactly zero time asking Ben repeatedly if her ass is getting fatter. That alone is a good reason to shrug off Eckler's sad, if entertaining, play for publicity.
Poor Rebecca Eckler.