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Apatow's Funny People can't see straight 

The film succeeds as a character drama before it veers out of control in a self-indulgent mess.

In Funny People, Judd Apatow inserts real documentary footage of his daughter singing "Memory" in her school performance of Cats, and makes it a story point. That says everything about Funny People's inflated sense of importance. Apatow hasn't a touch for big-screen comedy (not in pacing, composition, nor attitude). He prioritizes mass acceptance too highly to make anything more than a 150-minute sitcom. But by beginning Funny People in a milieu he understands, the film succeeds as a character drama before it veers out of control. The heart and gold of the film belongs to Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. Their interplay as celebrity comedian George Simmons (Sandler) and his pupil/assistant Ira Wright (Rogen) has insight into the way fame hinders normal relationships. These are humane, sympathetic performances, but Funny People chooses not to look that friendship in the eye. The gears shift entirely into a story of George trying to court his now-married ex (Leslie Mann), as Funny People captures its audience in the shared feeling of "I can't believe I'm still watching this." Not realizing when enough is enough, Apatow turns Funny People into the most indulgent ego-stroke-session since Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown.


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