It seems odd to say, but writer-director Judd Apatow’s loserlicious oeuvres—which include the cult TV show Freaks and Geeks, and this summer’s hit film Knocked Up—has the feel of a sweet mash note to his wife, actress Leslie Mann. Because when you boil down all the dirty jokes, pot-obsessed dialogue, and pissing matches, what you’re left with is an old-fashioned belief in true love.
“I think there is a nerd’s fantasy involved in many of these films,” Apatow has said. “We all wish that somebody would take the time to get know us, and love us, warts and all.” He’s certainly found that somebody in Mann, wife of more than 10 years and mother to his two daughters, but as she has said, “He’s still really uncomfortable with me sometimes. He still spills things before giving me a kiss. He’ll knock a glass over and get flustered by it. Sometimes it feels like we’re on a first date.” Still getting first-date jitters a decade later? There’s no better compliment for a marriage.
Baby Blues: “Knocked Up is inspired by bad experiences [we] had with gynecologists,” said Apatow. “Every time [we had a baby], we would have some hellish experience, and I kept saying, ‘If we don’t make this into a movie, this has been a complete waste of our nights, other than having the child.’”