Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Funny People. C

The chief problem with 'Funny People' is that writer-director Judd Apatow is trying for a magnum opus when he would be much better suited by sticking to his roots that made him so successful to begin with. It's as if he's been around forever, making countless great comedies. Now he's ready to retire and he wants to go out with a big, heartfelt, epic comedy. Sorry, not the case. Apatow (as far as I know) still plans to make plenty more movies, so there's not much reason for him to go overboard with just his third feature. 'Funny People' is about an aspiring comedian (Seth Rogan) who becomes a personal helper to a cancer-stricken celebrity actor/comedian, played by Adam Sandler. 'Funny People' does not do its title justice in that the people who are supposed to be funny really aren't. The comedy routines, which we get plenty of, consist mainly of old crude jokes. And when Rogan and Sandler aren't on stage they fare even worse. Now, this is a Judd Apatow movie, so there is some funny stuff here. Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman supply some laughter as Rogan's roommates, and some of the interactions between Seth and Adam are good. The best scene is when Sandler jokingly asks Rogan to murder him for money andRogan takes it seriously. Well, you get the picture. 'Funny People' has been widely criticized for its running time of over two hours (the extended cut is as long as 'The Departed). I mean, come on, Apatow, you've got to call it quits sooner. There's an extended act at the end (about forty minutes) between Sandler and his ex (Leslie Mann) and her husband (Eric Bana) that was entirely unnecessary. In the end 'Funny People' has its moments, but not enough of them. Apatow tried too hard to mix comedy and drama and the result is 'Funny People': a major disappointment.

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