Author - Cyrus
Funny People Movie Review
Comedians aren't always so funny in real life. Sometimes they're complete train wrecks. Such is the case for George Simmons, played by Adam Sandler
as if he was making a movie about his own life, and sure
enough, it might as well be. Clearly Sandler is trying to get away from the lamer comedies and extremely goofy character based films of his past as "Funny People" casts a wretched eye on a strikingly
similar output from Simmons. George is a legend but has no real friends and lives alone in his palatial estate surrounded only by servants and receiving human warmth only though the occasional one night stand. Enter leukemia and suddenly all the shallow waters don't seem to get him wet anymore. George is realizing that for all his stuff, how little he has.
One night, when he shows up for an impromptu and thoroughly depressing set at a local comedy club, he meets Ira Wright, with which Seth Rogen
aptly imbues with his everyman goofy charm (something he's much better at than when he tries to play unlikable characters such as in 'Observe and Report'). Ira wants to be a comedian but can't find his stage persona or get over his nervousness. For whatever reason, George decides that he might be a good guy to hire as a writer for comedy for him and as a personal assistant. Their relationship develops slowly into something resembling an actual friendship, which is a difficult step for George who is more used to yelling until he gets what he wants. Ira encourages and talks George into being open about his fatal illness and he re-connects with an old flame, Laura Anderson (Judd Apatow's wife Leslie Mann
), who forgives his long-ago indiscretion in view of his current predicament. But, when the experimental medicine George is on actually works and he goes into remission, the question is posed to whether he actually learned something from standing at the brink or if the old George will just pop right back.
is only Judd Apatow
's third film to direct (he wrote it as well) and you can follow his path towards a more mature style. Both his previous films, The 40 Year Old Virgin
and Knocked Up
were excellent comedies but here he's developed characters who are all too real and understandable and behave like people do, while also delivering a somewhat cutting look at Hollywood, ala "The Player". This resembles nothing so much as, and I'm not the first critic to point this out, James L. Brooks and I mean that in a very good way.
Performances are dead-on all around except for maybe Eric Bana
as Laura's husband who maybe is just a little too manic. But I'm nit-picking. The only bad thing here really is that the third act, as George starts to show an uncomfortable amount of old George, perhaps goes on about 20 minutes too long. The movie is two and a half hours and easily could have cut down some from that sequence specifically. You won't mind too much though, as "Funny People" will charm you, engage you, and most importantly, make you laugh out loud.
Cyrus gives this a high Full Price!!