MOVIE REVIEW: Funny People

Ahhh Tuesday, one of the best days in the entertainment business. It’s the day (usually) when all DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s and CD’s are released for eager fans to pick up and pay their hard earned cash on the “5-disc Special digital download plush toys action figure” edition of their favorite movie of the summer. So, I felt it was necessary to bring a review out of the archives about a movie coming out this Tuesday (tomorrow) that I saw this summer. The movie was Judd Apatow’s Funny People, and lets just say I was less than impressed…

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Funny People is the third film to be directed by Judd Apatow following The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. He has also produced some of the best comedies in recent years such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express. Funny People also has an amazing cast as well as amazing cameos by some of the best comedians. So why is it that when I left the theater after seeing this film it left a bad taste in my mouth?

Funny People stars Adam Sandler as George Simmons, a famous comedian who has a rare blood disease and decides to go back to his roots as a stand-up comedian. While performing at a comedy club one night he meets Ira (Played by Seth Rogen) who is a struggling comedian and is hired by George the next day. Ira’s job description is basically to write jokes for George and talk to him until he goes to sleep at night. When George learns that the experimental drugs that he has been taking is actually curing him, he decides to go and visit “the one that got away”, an ex-girlfriend played by Leslie Mann.

Now i do want to take the time and tell that there are a few things to like about this movie. My favorite thing about this film is that it shows the true nature of comics: they’re vain, insecure, competitive, dark and unhappy people who mask these attributes behind jokes. This should have been the heart and soul of this film. Another thing that I liked was the cameos, especially by Sarah Silverman, Ray Romano, Norm Macdonald, and Eminem (yep, that Eminem). There was a good balance of comedy and drama which kept this film afloat for the first hour and a half.

But this vessel begins to sink as soon as George learns that he’s getting better. Out of nowhere George and Ira decide to go to Laura’s house. This whole road trip takes up the last hour of the movie and is the main reason that the film sinks and sinks fast. It just seemed like there was no structure to this entire hour and should have been cut by about 40 minutes. By the time the film ended I didn’t really care what happened between George and Ira and the rest of the gang: in truth I just wanted to get out of the theater.

But this isn’t the only thing wrong with this film, it just isn’t all that….funny. Besides the stand up acts from all the comics (Except for Aziz Ansari, who is only funny in Parks and Recreation), there was a LOT of moments where things that were supposed to be funny wasn’t (there are too many jokes about penises that were old 12 years ago) and the rest of the movie goers in theater number 16 agreed with me. There is a really good movie hidden in this film if the story had been tweaked a bit and if the script was more spontaneous.

I respect what Judd Apatow tried to do with this project but I think he tried to put too much into a film that needed simplicity. It’s just not worth the $9.50 for the movie ticket to see this movie. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot worse comedy films you could go see this summer (Year One, The Ugly Truth, Twilight: New Moon) but there are also a lot better Comedies you can go see (The Hangover, Land of the Lost). I strongly suggest you go see something besides Funny People.

Verdict: SKIP IT!

What did you think of Funny People? Did I get my review wrong? Or was I spot on? Voice your opinion and post a comment.

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