Friday, July 31, 2009

I Saw 'Funny People' and I Thought It Was Funny

Last week I was invited to a screening of the new Judd Apatow movie, "Funny People," that stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan as stand-up comedians. And guess what - it really was funny. Not only that, but I went to see it with my friend Amy, who is a stand up comedian herself, and she thought it was funny too. That's a pretty big endorsement, sort of like your cat giving a big 'Two Thumbs up' to the 'Garfield' movie. Well, not really, because 'Garfield' was awful and I guess that would just mean your cat's taste really sucked.

On with the review.

Along with Sandler and Rogan the movie stars a few people you've probably seen in other Apatow films (Jonah Hill, Leslie Mann) and also Jason Schwartzman who is great as Rogan's egotistical roomate Mark (Schwartzman also wrote the music for the film.) To be honest, I love Apatow's movies but I was hoping this one would venture away from the usual dude-living-with-his-friends-and-trying-to-get-laid scenario and I wasn't disappointed. Sure there was plenty of that, but the storyline involving Sandler is more dramatic (I won't give it away. Okay, I can't help myself - he's dying) and while he certainly plays a lot of lines for laughs, there's a serious side that gives the movie another layer.

(Disclaimer: I was one of the five people on the planet who actually liked 'Spanglish' and Sandler in one of his serious roles. Anyone else out there like it? You over there, Adam's mom, is that a hand being raised? That makes six of us.)

Sandler plays actor George Simmons who has successfully made the move from stand-up to feature films (hey, just like Adam Sandler) who befriends struggling comedian Ira Wright (Rogan) and hires him to be his writer and personal assistant. George confides in Ira about his illness, and also about his obsession with ex-girlfriend Laura (Mann.) This is the part of the story that seemed to go on way too long - George and Ira take a trip up to Laura's Marin County home while her husband is away, and I just kept hoping the guys would get back in their car and drive back to L.A. where the lines were snappier and the jokes funnier. I may have even yelled out something inappropriate like, "Dude, get back to your friends and try to get laid!" It's the sad truth - give me a bucket of buttered popcorn and a jumbo box of Junior Mints and there's no telling what I'll do.

One of the things I would have liked to see more of is the relationship between Ira and Daisy (Aubry Plaza) a comedian who starts off dating Ira's roommate but then falls for Ira. I have to stop here and say OMIGOD THIS GIRL LOOKS EXACTLY, I MEAN EXACTLY LIKE MY DAUGHTER. Not only that, she has the same mannerisms, and the same dry sense of humor. Here's a picture of her, and for any of you that know my 13-year-old you might just fall off your chair, or out of your bed depending on where you like to be when reading my reviews (I'm going to ignore the smartass who just said 'toilet.')

But overall I liked the movie, and would guess that Apatow fans won't be disappointed although they should prepare themselves for a slightly more melancholy ride. And Apatow fans like me who are looking for a little more will like it as well, and may be inclined to give it an enthusiastic 'Two Thumbs Up' as I did. Not sure what my cat would give it - he's been grounded ever since he dragged me out to see 'Garfield.'

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See the trailer for 'Funny People' here.

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HappyHourMom said...

Oh goodie, I have been wanting to see this movie with hubby. Thanks for the review, we will go this weekend!!!

P.S.I really liked Spanglish(a lot)

Miss you and the girls~ xoox

NorCal Sistah said...

Thanks for letting me know that wasn't Kira's pic -- I was confused there for a moment wondering why you had put a picture of her in your movie review -- spooky. Kira is an original she might not like that someone is impersonating her.

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