For all the fighting in the film, there’s one thing missing in Knocked Up: an antagonist. “I hadn’t really thought of that!”, Apatow laughs.
“I think the baby is the antagonist. I’m a big fan of John Cassavettes and Hal Ashby’s work and what I saw Garry Shandling do on Larry Sanders and what James Brooks and Cameron Crowe do. It all adds up to human stories. In life there are antagonists, but oftentimes the antagonist can be your own inability to mature or your difficulty in facing new situations.”
In other words, the situation can be the antagonist, such as in The 40 Year Old Virgin, where the problem was the virginity.
“My head rarely goes to ‘who’s the villain?'” Apatow continues. “I just try to think of real situations and stories where people try to get through normal, everyday stuff. Hopefully the texture of the story and the comedic point of view make it more interesting.”