‘Funny People’ is Classic Apatow, No Matter What People Are Saying – Movie Review

I've been waiting for Funny People, comedic god Judd Apatow's third directorial, since last summer. I've seen Knocked Up, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and most of the other movies that he has produced. Going into Funny People, I had heard mixed reviews on it. I had heard that it was "depressing", "dull" and "long". I didn't listen to these critics (Roger Moore, ahem), and neither should you. Funny People shattered my expectations. It's a perfect follow up to Apatow's cult hits that exploded him to fame in 2005 (Virgin) and in 2007 (Up). Judd Apatow is an indescribable genius; the touch he puts on his movies, whether he's writing, directing or producing (he does all three in People) is classic. No matter how many times movie studios have tried to copy him with films like The Hangover and I Love You, Man, they can't top it; they're all good movies, however Apatow is the undisputed R-rated king of comedy.

Funny People tells the story of George Simmons (Adam Sandler, his best performance in years), a world-famous actor in crud flicks like Re-Do and Mer-Man (watch the posters carefully; you'll see a funny cameo by a certain star pf Virgin). Now dying of leukemia, he makes friends with Ira (Seth Rogen, hilarious), a stand-up comic trying to make it big time. He hires Ira to write stand-up for him after seeing his bit at a comedy club. Along the way, we meet Ira's roommates: Mark (Jason Schwartzman, a riot), the star of a low-rated sitcom called Yo Teach! and Leo (Jonah Hill), with a back-story similar to that of Ira's. In an attempt to woo his old girlfriend back, George tells Laura (Leslie Mann, great as usual) of his illness. He wants to get back together, but he soon discovers of Laura's husband (Eric Bana, a fresh face) and two kids Mable and Ingrid (Mann and Apatow's own kids Maude and Iris, showing serious potential as actresses with a bigger role than in Knocked Up in Funny People). Cameos fill People, from Aziz Ansari (a spin-off mockumentary is already planned) and Sarah Silverman to Norm McDonald and Andy Dick.

Funny People is classic Judd Apatow, no matter what critics or audience members are saying. The only difference between this movie and his previous accomplishments is that you have to know a bit about every character in this. Sandler's prank phone calls in the beginning trace back to when him and Apatow were roommates and the relationship between Sandler and Budd Friedman to really appreciate People. Sure, nobody reading this can relate to George Simmons' problem of being too rich and famous, although we can understand how it feels to be rejected and going nowhere in your life. If you look at it from this point of view, that can be pretty funny.

4.5/5 stars

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