Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Movie Review: Funny People

Funny People is the third feature film for director Judd Apatow. The film stars Adam Sandler as a famous aging comedian who learns he has a form of cancer that is hard to treat. He prepares for death and discovers a young comedian played by Seth Rogan. Their relationship changes from a business relationship to a friendship over time. While this is going on Adam is trying to fix things up with his long lost love who is now married with children.

Thats the basic premise of the movie, it should be fairly simple to execute but in going for a more serious tone and subject matter Judd Apatow forgot to make a comedy. Maybe the film was meant to be that way but the movie is called "Funny People" and all the marketing has segments of "Stand-Up" so sue me for looking for a good laugh. Apatow has always been able to find a good balance between the crude humor of his films and serious issues as well. In 40 year-old Virgin it was saying that it's never too late to start your life and in Knocked Up it was learning how to be a responsible adult, with the ability to raise a stable family.

Funny People tries to teach us about coming to terms with death and getting your life in order and how important the friendships we make are. The message is a good one but thats all the film gives us, not the laughs that come with the message. The film has a few good one liners but in a 2 hour 20 minute supposed comedy I shouldn't only laugh 3 or 4 times. I don't have a big problem with length if it's warranted, but this film just drags like nobodies business. We get scene after scene of Adam sitting around depressed, after the first time we understand why and how he feels and don't need to wallow in it for an hour.

If your main draw to this film is the comedy then your going to be very disappointed. Even the comedy that does work is quite forgettable. As I sit here now I can't even remember the jokes that I found momentarily entertaining. There's no lines that will be remembered or become pop culture references.

The performances are also pretty forgettable, with Adam Sandler being the only redeeming thing about it. Everyone else just seems to be on auto pilot. Eric Bana tries to do something with his role but comes off as way to ridiculous at times and could have used someone reigning him in a bit. I can see that the purpose of the film is for Judd Apatow to tackle more serious subject matters. So hopefully Funny People is just a bump in the road to a more mature filmmaker.

2 out of 5


  1. All I can say is thank god I chose "Public Enemies" over this one last week.

  2. If Adam Sandler is the only redeeming thing about this movie, then it MUST suck.