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Funny People

Click here to read an interview with Apatow...

...and read Time Out's list of the greatest cinematic stand-ups 

There’s an epidemic sweeping Hollywood. Call it ‘The Tarantino Effect’ or ‘Peter Jackson’s Syndrome’: as soon as a struggling director gets a whiff of success, they splurge out on that lavish, long-cherished personal project, be it ice-skating gorillas or an entire afternoon’s worth of Uma Thurman in a yellow jumpsuit. Judd Apatow deserves his bite at the cherry: ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ and ‘Knocked Up’ sparked a revolution in American comedy, bringing charm, insight and fun back to a genre dominated by joyless fratboy antics. But were audiences really clamouring for a two-and-a-half hour Adam Sandler movie?In ‘Funny People’, Sandler is front and centre (isn’t he always?) as George Simmons, a legend of stand-up gone to seed in a succession of mainstream money-spinners. Diagnosed with a fatal blood disorder, he hires budding comic Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) as his assistant, and tries to work out where his life went off the rails.

There’s much more to ‘Funny People’ than a brief synopsis can contain, including a great deal of soul-searching and self-exploration as well as righteous gags and celebrity cameos (Eminem! Sarah Silverman! James Taylor?). And that’s the problem: there’s too much here for one movie. Apatow’s plotting, so streamlined in the past, has become flabby and undisciplined, as what seems to be a straightforward tale of mortality and redemption gradually becomes bogged down by unnecessary characters and outright schmaltz, staggering to an unsatisfying conclusion. This is a generous, goodhearted, enjoyable movie, loaded with memorable characters and genuine wit. But there’s such a thing as giving a little too much.

Click here to read an interview with Apatow...

...and read Time Out's list of the greatest cinematic stand-ups

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday August 28 2009
Duration: 146 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Judd Apatow
Screenwriter: Judd Apatow
Cast: Adam Sandler
Seth Rogen
Leslie Mann
Eric Bana
Jonah Hill
Jason Schwartzman
Aubrey Plaza
Maude Apatow
Iris Apatow
RZA
Aziz Ansari

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
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  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
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Sylvander

If you thought this movie was funny, you ought to get out more. There is a little scene in it that sums up the entire movie for the 100 strong audience when I saw it in Aberdeen. A dvd of a ten year old girl singing "memories" is played. The effect was cringemaking. Apatow could have cut a half hout out of this work and it would make more sense and be less of a cure for Insomnia. I went to see this because I expected to see at least 3 minutes of good stand up. I was disappointed. Some touching moments, but that was it.

tasha

omg. went to see it on saterday it was sooo funny. go to see it with your mates and make sure your parents NEVER see it.

Readie

Seriously self-indulgent. Oh, and far too long, lacking in laughs, and with so many (often bizarre) cameos that when an actor from "Mad Men" randomly appeared, I found myself struggling to work out whether he was playing himself or a character. Other than that I loved it.

Mark Hargrave

As a visitor to Canada, had the misfortune of an advanced screening of this. An overlong, sprawling film that takes itself far too seriously. Funny people they may be but the laughs were too few & the message was too contrived. Sandler was at least likeable but this is a very American film - it will NOT appeal to the British market.